An affidavit is a type of verified statement or showing, or in other words, it contains a verification, meaning it is under oath or penalty of perjury, and this serves as evidence to its veracity and is required for court proceedings.
The Supreme Court in Amar Singh v. Union of India and Others 2011 4 AWC 3726 SC, 2011 (5) SCALE 606, 2011 (7) SCC 69, has issued directions to the court’s registry to carefully scrutinize all affidavits, petitions, and applications and reject those which do not conform to the needs of Order XIX of the Code of Civil Procedure and Order XI of the Supreme Court Rules. The Supreme Court has highlighted the importance of affidavits in this judgment and has discussed various judicial pronouncements on the aspect. The relevant extracts of the aforesaid judgment are reproduced hereinbelow;
- The provision of Order XIX of Code of Civil Procedure, deals with affidavit. Rule 3 (1) of Order XIX which deals with matters to which the affidavit shall be confined provides as follows: “Matters to which affidavits shall be confined. – (1) affidavits shall be confined to such facts as the deponent is able of his own knowledge to prove, except on interlocutory applications, on which statements of his belief may be admitted; provided that the grounds thereof are stated.”
- Order XI of the Supreme Court Rules 1966 deals with affidavits. Rule 5 of Order XI is a virtual replica of Order XIX Rule 3 (1). Order XI Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules is therefore set out: “Affidavits shall be confined to such facts as the deponent is able of his own knowledge to prove, except on interlocutory applications, on which statements of his belief may be admitted, provided that the grounds thereof are stated.”
- In this connection Rule 13 of Order XI of the aforesaid Rules are also relevant and is set out below: ” In this Order, `affidavit’ includes a petition or other document required to be sworn or verified; and `sworn’ includes affirmed. In the verification of petitions, pleadings or other proceedings, statements based on personal knowledge shall be distinguished from statements based on information and belief. In the case of statements based on information, the deponent shall disclose the source of this information.”
- The importance of affidavits strictly conforming to the requirements of Order XIX Rule 3 of the Code has been laid down by the Calcutta High Court as early as in 1910 in the case of Padmabati Dasi v. Rasik Lal Dhar [(1910) Indian Law Reporter 37 Calcutta 259]. An erudite Bench, comprising Chief Justice Lawrence H. Jenkins and Woodroffe, J. laid down: “We desire to impress on those who propose to rely on affidavits that, in future, the provisions of Order XIX, Rule 3, must be strictly observed, and every affidavit should clearly express how much is a statement of the deponent’s knowledge and how much is a statement of his belief, and the grounds of belief must be stated with sufficient particularity to enable the Court to judge whether it would be sage to act on the deponent’s belief.”
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