Section 4. Legal recognition of electronic records
Where any law provides that
information or any other matter shall be in writing or in the typewritten or printed form,
then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such information or matter is—
(a) rendered or made available in an electronic form; and
(b) accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference.
This section gives validity and recognizes the use of electronic records in place of the ordinary paper based records. This section effectively allows replacement of physical letters and transactions by the use of email and electronic means of communication.
This is the most important section of the Information Technology Act which truly empowers the country to move towards electronic communication.
The section states that in spite of anything contained in any other Act, electronic means may be used in place of the conventional written or paper based system.
Electronic Invoices, electronic Receipts, SMS Tickets for Railways, Email tickets are all valid records.
An email sent as an RTI application is also considered valid provided it fulfills other provisions of the Act.