With increasing number of documents to be signed and increasing digitalization of forms, digital signature was a necessity and in the tax and corporate world we all know that the most used type of digital signature is Class 2 digital signature which is used to sign audit reports, MCA forms, Income tax return etc.
A guidance note dt. 26.11.2020 was issued by Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) i.e. the authority which license and regulate the working of Certifying Authorities. The Certifying Authorities (CAs) issue digital signature certificates for electronic authentication of users.
In para 1.13 – Key pair generation/Storage of the guidance note it was mentioned that “CA shall not issue class 2 level individual Signing certificates.”
Based on the above guidance it is being speculated that Class 2 digital signature shall discontinue, however in the guidance note no date of such discontinuance is maintained but based on communications received by various people from vendors issuing digital signature it is being said that Class 2 digital signature shall discontinue from 01.01.2021.
Also, it is being said that although no new digital signature can be issued after 31.12.2020 but people can get their digital signature renewed before 31.12.2020 and same shall remain valid till the time it doesn’t expire.
In the guidance note there were various other information related to security of digital documents, SSL certificate for websites etc.
However, nothing was mentioned as to what can be used as replacement of Class 2 digital signature for signing.
We will have to wait for further communication in this regard.
To read full guidance note CLICK HERE.