Home Legal TemplatesLand and Property Affidavit and Indemnity

Affidavit and Indemnity

by crisant
Affidavit and Indemnity

Affidavit and Indemnity

WHAT ARE AFFIDAVITS:WHY ARE THEY FILED: ABOLITION OF AFFIDAVITS

Time and again, it has been seen that we file affidavit attested by Notary or Oath Commissioner. Generally it is believed that we file Affidavits to support our statement contained in Affidavit. By filing Affidavit, it is presumed that our statement becomes strong. But is it really so. In this Article we have examined the importance of filing and consequences if non filing of Affidavits and the Abolition of Affidavits.

WHAT IS AN AFFIDAVIT?

Affidavit is defined as a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by a person under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law.

Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of that person’s signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public or commissioner of oaths

Advertisements
Projectvala assignment service updated

DEFINITION OF AFFIDAVITS UNDER THE GENERAL CLAUSES ACT

‘Affidavit’ shall include affirmation ‘and declaration in the case of persons by law allowed to affirm or declare instead of swearing.

WHY DO WE FILE AN AFFIDAVIT

Affidavits came from the origin of colonial concept of distrust where it was felt necessary by the British Rule that the citizens give in writing so as to guarantee their word. Affidavit if filed to prove our undertaking as it can be seen that the Government lacks trust in citizens and don’t believe in whatever they say. Affidavits are very common and are filed almost in our daily lives It has been assumed and presumed that whatever assertion is stated by a citizen by way of an affidavit, can be believed to be true and necessary action can be taken against

DO WE REALLY NEED AFFIDAVITS?

Affidavits impose their own cost on the citizens on buying stamp paper, locating a deed writer, payment to the Notary for attestation and, of course, the time and efforts consumed in these processes. On the other hand, affidavits have no particular sanctity in law and the same function can be easily performed by declarations.

As per report of PGRC, in Punjab alone, it is estimated that at least half the households file affidavits annually for one service or the other. Extrapolating this figure to India, the total number may be more than 20 crore citizens/affidavits and assuming a cost of Rs.400/- per affidavit (one day wages plus stamps, fees and charges), the total expenses incurred by the citizens in India could well be to the extent of Rs.8,000 crores approximately.

Affidavits, therefore, need to be replaced by Self-Declarations for all services in the public utilities/agencies. Affidavit is a declaration, and such, a declaration in itself is adequate for the purposes of law.

Advertisements

Attestation by the officials, thus, does not appear to be necessary. The applicant/signatory continues to be responsible for the statement made. An advantage that the public agencies have is that they can also impose penal liability for making wrong statements in terms of suspension of the services (suspension of ration card facilities, disconnection of power supply etc.). Some 3 of the Central Government agencies (passport, income tax etc.) have already adopted this practice.

LEGAL IMPEDIMENTS IN ABOLITION OF AFFIDAVITS

There appears to be no legal problem in adopting this practice. The Indian Penal Code contains a number of Sections such as 177, 193, 197, 198, 199 and 200. These Sections specifically deal with the implications of any false information/evidence/disclosure/ declaration made by the deponents and, any such instances have been included to be subjected to the imposition of penalties, fines, registration of criminal cases and even imprisonment.

In Punjab alone, it is estimated that at least half the households file affidavits annually for one service or the other. Extrapolating this figure to India, the total number may be more than 20 crore citizens/affidavits and assuming a cost of Rs.400/- per affidavit (one day wages plus stamps, fees and charges), the total expenses incurred by the citizens in India could well be to the extent of Rs.8,000 crores approximately.

Affidavits, therefore, need to be replaced by Self-Declarations for all services in the public utilities/agencies. Affidavit is a declaration, and such, a declaration in itself is adequate for the purposes of law.

Attestation by the officials, thus, does not appear to be necessary. The applicant/signatory continues to be responsible for the statement made. An advantage that the public agencies have is that they can also impose penal liability for making wrong statements in terms of suspension of the services (suspension of ration card facilities, disconnection of power supply etc.).

Click Here to Download


ALSO READ:

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

× Chat with us on WhatsApp