An affidavit is a written statement of truth. It is usually made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation that’s administered by someone who’s authorized to achieve this by law. It is a form of a validated statement or showing, or in different words, it carries a verification, which means that it is made under oath on penalty of perjury, and this serves as proof for its veracity and is needed in court cases. Recently, the rate of the use of affidavits has extended on a huge scale. It is due to this COVID-19 pandemic and the related social distancing norms that have disrupted judicial systems in the course of the world and the courts needed to reply quickly to this extraordinary challenge.
In India, the Supreme Court led the way by switching over to digital hearings right away after the declaration of a national lockdown in March 2020. While it is simple to keep contactless digital hearings in appellate courts, it’s far a frightening assignment in trial courts where the proof is needed to be discovered. It is vital to re-engineer approaches withinside the trial courts to lessen personal contact without affecting the delivery of justice. In this context, using affidavits withinside the court cases for imparting evidence and various different types of facts requires an evaluation due to the fact that social distancing is likely to be a part of life for the long term to come.
The exercise of filing a written statement in courts on testimony is accepted in most of the nations which have been a part of the British Empire in medieval times. However, many such nations have curtailed its use with the aid of enhancing their approaches to suit present-day requirements. Most recently, in August 2020, Ireland has changed affidavits with the ‘statement of truth’ withinside the civil court cases as a measure to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
AFFIDAVIT IN INDIAN COURTS
In Indian courts, affidavits are used considerably for imparting evidence and different records in the course of civil and criminal court cases.
- Under the Code of Civil Procedure, the court can also add an order for any truth to be proved through an affidavit.
- In a civil case, the examination-in-chief of a witness is usually in the form of an affidavit.
- Apart from the main proof, affidavits are required to be filed for diverse different functions withinside the court. Every pleading is to be supported by an affidavit for proving the truth of the facts contained therein.
- Affidavit can also answer the Interrogatories.
- In case of failure of summons, the officer liable for the service has to give his report supported by an affidavit.
- In criminal lawsuits, an application for plea bargaining needs to be accompanied by an affidavit of the accused pointing out that he had voluntarily desired plea bargaining.
In brief, each declaration of records in the court needs to be supported by an affidavit of the party in the knowledge of those records. The court relies at the records only if those are both stated withinside the oral evidence on oath or with the aid of using written submission supported by an affidavit.
EFFICACY OF AFFIDAVIT TO DISCOVER TRUTH
It needs to be tested whether or not a written declaration on oath or affirmation is in any manner greater powerful than every day signed a statement in discovering the truth that’s the remaining intention of a court. Traditionally, a statement at the affidavit is taken into consideration greater efficacious in bringing out the reality due to the fact an oath or confirmation is meant to have an ethical pressure on the deponent. However, doubts have continually been raised at the efficacy of oath and affirmation in discovering the reality in courts. Confirmation is a counterpart of the oath which was devised in the seventeenth century. In England and other common regulatory nations, affirmation is permitted simplest in exceptional instances at the specific request of a witness due to his nonsecular beliefs. However, in India, everybody can appear for a oral testimony or an affidavit. As affirmation has no reference to faith and God, it’s far likely to have much lesser ethical pressure than that of an oath on someone to speak the reality. Once an affidavit is permitted to be made on affirmation, the intent in the back of the ‘sworn’ statement is significantly lost. There is little difference withinside the ethical pressure of testimony on affirmation and a regular self-declaration.
LAW OF PERJURY
In the cutting-edge world, a stringent regulation to punish a fake statement is more effective in bringing out the reality in a court. In most common-law nations, an offense of giving fake proof, known as perjury, can only be invoked while fake evidence is given on oath or affirmation. Therefore, an oath or affirmation is needed not only for making use of ethical pressure on a deponent however additionally for making him responsible for the crime of perjury. The regulation in India is more pragmatic in this regard.
Under the Oaths act 1969, each person giving evidence on any issue before any court is bound to the nation the reality on such issue. An oath isn’t always a situation precedent to the obligation to nation truth under Indian law as is the case in most other nations following common law. Under section 191 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever being legally bound with the aid of using an oath or by specific provision of law to the nation the truth makes a false statement is stated to provide false evidence and is punishable under section 193 of the IPC. As each person is bound to nation truth by section 14 of the Oaths Act, submitting a fake unsworn written statement in a court might constitute the same offense because submitting a false affidavit. Therefore, even though the affidavit is changed with a simple self-declaration, it’ll not dilute the punishment for giving a fake statement in the court.
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