Chapter 4 of IT Act, 2000, “Attribution, Acknowledgement & Dispatch of Electronic records
This section mainly deals with the electronic contracts. In physical world organized process is defined to frame the contracts but in cyber space there are many ambiguities. Hence provisions are made so that making electronic contracts can be an easier process.
Attribution of electronic records (Section 11)
The word attribution means, “The act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art. 2. Something, such as a quality or characteristic, that is related to a particular possessor.”
With respect to IT At 2000, attribution of electronic records means fixing identity of sender and receiver. Here originator is a person who sends or generates any electronic record. The receiver of electronic record is termed as Addressee. For example if ‘A’ sends an email to ‘B’, then ‘A’ is a sender or originator and ‘B’ is Addressee. In normal course of communication (postal communication or paper communication), it’s very easy to identify originator and addressee but in electronic communication it’s not the same.
The electronic record can be sent by the originator himself or by the person who has been authorized by the originator or by an information system that the originator has authenticated.
Acknowledgment of receiving of electronic record (Section12)
If the originator has not specified any specific mode of acknowledgement (an act by the addressee that he/she has received the electronic record), the acknowledgement can be given by a return mail by the addressee or an automated response by the addressee or an act by addressee that shows the acknowledgement.
For example when a person receives an email by an estate agent, for real estate properties, the person can send a thank u mail or can send an automatic reply or can show interest in the offer given by the agent by visiting him. All the three option show an acknowledgement.
If the originator has specified a format and time period for sending the acknowledgement, then the addressee must send the acknowledgement in that format and within the given time period otherwise the originator can send a notice to the addressee stating that no acknowledgement was received.
Dispatch of Electronic Record(Section 13)
This section states that when a person sends an electronic record from his computer then that particular time becomes the time of dispatch. For example if Mr. A composes an email at 3.30 am and presses the “Send” button at 4.30 am then time of dispatch will be 4.30 am. because after pressing send button the sender cannot make any changes to the record.