An affidavit is a written statement of fact which is voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation which is administered by a person who is authorized to do so by law.
WHAT IS AN AFFIDAVIT?
An affidavit is a written statement of fact which is voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation which is administered by a person who is authorized to do so by law. Such a statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant’s signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public or commissioner of oaths. An affidavit is a type of verified statement or showing, or in other words, it contains a verification, which means that it is made under oath or penalty of perjury, and this serves as evidence for its veracity and is required in court proceedings.
Affidavits may be written in the first or third person, depending on who drafted the document. The document’s component parts are typically as follows:
- a commencement which identifies the “affiant of truth”, generally stating that everything in it is true, under penalty of perjury, fine, or imprisonment;
- an attestation clause, usually a jurat, at the end certifying that the affiant made oath and the date;
- signatures of the author and witness.
If an affidavit is notarized or authenticated, it will also include a caption with a venue and title in reference to judicial proceedings.
WHO CAN CREATE AN AFFIDAVIT?
In order to create an affidavit, an individual should have attained majority and should be in a position to understand the nature of the contents sworn. In other words, the person should not be insane or incapacitated to the extent of not knowing the meaning of the statements mentioned in the affidavit.
Essential Features of an Affidavit
- An Affidavit should be in writing
Since an Affidavit is used as a record in court, it has to be in writing. This is to make the person who makes the affidavit accountable for the contents sworn in the affidavit. It also deters people from making false claims since they amount to punishable offences.
- It must be a declaration made by an individual
An Affidavit can be created only by an individual, and not by any artificial persons like Companies and other associations or Groups of individuals.
- It must relate to facts alone
An Affidavit should mention only the facts according to the best knowledge and belief of the deponent. It should not be based on mere inferences or assumptions.
- It must be made in the first person
Affidavits cannot be created on behalf of other persons. The purpose is to prevent declaring of things beyond the reasonable knowledge of a person. It is the duty of the deponent to state facts which are known to him/her. However it is subject to the exception where affidavits are sworn on behalf of minor children or insane individuals.
- It must be sworn before an officer or magistrate who is authorized to administer oath.
An affidavit can be sworn only before a person having authority to attest it. For example, a name change affidavit may be attested either by a Notary Public or by an Executive or Judicial magistrate for documents created in India; while an affidavit for lost or damaged passport can be attested only by a Judicial or Executive Magistrate and it is beyond the authority of a Notary Public.
Contents of an Affidavit
An affidavit should include only those facts that a deponent is able to prove to his personal knowledge. It should not contain assumptions and vague beliefs. The only exception to this rule is Interlocutory Applications submitted in civil proceedings which may be based on the belief of the deponent. However, it is subject to the rule that the source of the information shall be specified and that the deponent shall be subject to cross verification by the other party. An affidavit contains plain facts listed one after the other and a verification clause which is to be attested by the prescribed officer with authority.
Circumstances For Creating An Affidavit
Affidavits are used whenever there is a reason to swear an oath of any nature, for instance- in passport requirements, divorce proceedings, property disputes, debt cases among others. It is also used in the event of loss of certificates or original documents of any nature, for purposes of changing names of individuals and for a number of different reasons.
According to the Indian Laws, an affidavit can be used to prove a fact in a court of law provided the court orders it. Since affidavits are not included in the definition of ‘Evidence’ in the Indian Evidence Act, they can be used as evidence only when the court finds it reasonable to invoke the provisions of order 19 of the Civil Procedure Code. This provision is however subject to the right of the opposite party to produce the deponent for cross verification.
Common Affidavits Used in India
Following are examples of the commonly used affidavits in India:
- Name Change Affidavits
1. General Name Change Affidavit
2. Change of Name After Marriage Affidavit
3. Change of Name of Minor Affidavit
4. One and the Same Person Affidavit
- Change of Signature Affidavit
- Address Proof Affidavit
- Proof of Date of Birth Affidavit
- Income Proof Affidavit
- Joint Affidavit for Registration of Marriage
- Affidavit for No-criminal record
- Affidavit for Claim Settlement in Bank
- Affidavit for Issue of Duplicate Certificates/Documents/Mark lists
- First Child Affidavit
- Affidavit for Educational Loan
- Anti Ragging Affidavit
- Affidavit for gap in education/employment
- Passport Affidavits – also known as Annexures
Annexures are to be made strictly according to the formats issued by the Ministry of External Affairs
- LPG Annexures
What Happens On Filing Of A False Affidavit?
Swearing of a false affidavit can make a person liable to be charged under the Indian Penal Code for the offence of Perjury. It is a grave matter which warrants strict action.
Such provisions ensure that persons who swear untruths in affidavits are aware of the consequences and to prevent them from committing such offences.
How Will Legal Desk Come To Your Assistance?
While it may appear that affidavits are a list of plain facts, it is important to note that it is vital to make it conform to the requisite formats and to include only relevant facts. Thus, it becomes essential that it is drafted professionally. If you wish to create a legally valid affidavit for fulfilling any legal obligation, choose Legal Desk’s pre-drafted legal templates. In case if you do not find the affidavit required by you in our list of online affidavit formats, then click the button below and submit your request, we would love to add more templates to our site.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.
If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge