The term "affidavit
" is not defined in the Code, it generally means "a sworn
statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an
authorised officer or Magistrate." An affidavit is, to put it simply, a written
declaration of facts that is sworn in front of a witness with the power to
conduct oaths. Every affidavit must be written and should only include facts,
It has been properly attested or affirmed by the Notary or Oath Commissioner.
The Court appoints these commissioners for notaries and oaths. The notary and
oath commissioners have a responsibility to make sure the deponent's signature
are not fake. As a result, the deponent must appear in person before the notary
or oath commissioner to get the affidavit attested.
Essentials of Affidavit:
- It must be a statement made by an individual.
- It must be related to facts.
- It must be in written form.
- It must be written in the first person and sworn or confirmed in front
of a magistrate or another authorised official.
Contents of Affidavit
- An affidavit should only contain information that the deponent can
personally attest to. However, the deponent is permitted to mention such
facts in interlocutory applications that are founded on belief under Rule
3(1) of Order 19.
- A sense of responsibility should be shown when filing affidavits on
behalf of the state.
- Conflicting affidavits submitted by the same officer are inappropriate;
the government spokesperson exhibits complete neglect for the truth.
Verification of Affidavit
An affidavit has to be validated. The purpose of verification is to hold the
deponent accountable for the allegations made and to determine whether the
deponent's claims are true and authentic.
According to Section 3 of The Evidence Act, affidavits are considered
"evidence." The Supreme Court, however, held that an affidavit can only be used
as evidence if the Court so orders for adequate reasons (Khandesh Spg & Wvg
Mills CO. Ltd. Vs Rashtriya Girni Kamgar Sangh
). Therefore, without a
particular court order, an affidavit cannot typically be used as evidence.
The Supreme court in case of Amar Singh v. Union of India and others
given instructions to the courts registry to carefully review all affidavits,
petitions, and applications and reject any that do not follow Order XI the
Supreme Court Rules and Order XIX of the Code of Civil Procedure. In this
ruling, the Supreme Court emphasised the significance of affidavits and analysed
numerous judicial rulings on the subject.
In case of Virendra Kumar Saklecha v. Jagjiwan and others
, the court
ruled that failure to provide information will show that the election petitioner
failed to identify the information's source at the earliest opportunity. The
significance of revealing such a source is to notify the opposing party and to
give them a chance to verify the accuracy and authenticity of the information
Filing of False Affidavit
A person intentionally swears false and irrelevant statements to be true,
correct, and accurate in an affidavit and signs it with the intent to deceive
the Court. This is known as a false affidavit. This significantly slows down the
legal process and is a blatant abuse of it. Filing of false affidavit is an
offence under Sections 191, 193, 195, and 199 of the Indian Penal Code.
The person who submits a fraudulent affidavit may face criminal contempt of
court charges. If a person files false affidavit in a situation when a court has
ordered a party to do so is punished under Section 2(c) of the 1971 Contempt of
the Courts Act. It is punishable by a term of up to six months.
Section 200 of the Indian Penal Code allows a private complaint to be made
before a magistrate.
It is clear that an affidavit is a very significant document. Even when
authorised representatives sign it, only those who are fully informed of the
circumstances of the case are expected to sign it and a person who is aware of
the existence of such facts and circumstances makes a sworn statement of those
facts in an affidavit.
- Takwani C.K., Civil Procedure Code, Edition 5. Reprint 2007, Eastern
Book Publication, Lucknow.
- Ratanlal and Dhirajlal The Indian Penal Code
- BATUK LAL The Law of Evidence [Central Law Agency]
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Kimika Bhardwaj
Authentication No: JA340779051383-10-0123