What is an Affidavit?

Last Updated at: Oct 12, 2020
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CM of Kerala said people locking in on the open should carry out a signed affidavit attesting the cause of the travel.


What is Affidavit in India?

An affidavit is a voluntary declaration in writing by a person (the deponent) who executes, swears, verifies, affirms on oath. Such a person also declares that the contents mentioned in the said declaration are true and correct and nothing has been concealed or misstated therein. He also verifies the authenticity of the same.

The deponent has the option to just sign the affidavit or to sign it in front of a notary public, S.E.M. or Oaths Commissioner. In Indian law, although an Indian affidavit may be taken as proof of the facts stated therein, the Courts have no jurisdiction to admit evidence by way of affidavit. Affidavit is treated as “evidence” within the meaning of Section 3 of the Evidence Act.

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Contents of affidavit in Indian law

(i) Every affidavit containing any statement of facts shall be divided into paragraphs, and every paragraph shall be numbered consecutively, and, as nearly as may be, shall be confined to a distinct portion of the subject.

(ii) Every person, other than a plaintiff or defendant in a suit in which the application is made shall be clearly identified. This is to say, by the statement of his full name, the name of his father, his profession or trade, and the place of his residence.

(iii) When the person in any affidavit speaks to any facts within his own knowledge, he must do so directly and positively, using the words “I affirm” or “I make oath any say”.

(iv) When the particular fact is not within the person’s own knowledge but is stated from information obtained from others, the person must use the expression “I am informed”, and, if such be the case, should add “and verily believe it to be true” or he may state the source from which he received such information.

When the statement rests on facts disclosed in documents, or copies of documents procured from any Court of Justice or another source, the person shall specify the source from which they were procured, and state his information or belief as to the truth of the facts disclosed in such documents. Filing a false affidavit on oath is a punishable offence. False information in it can lead to perjury charge against a deponent. However, if a deponent forgets to include something or omits something in the affidavit then he cannot be penalized for such omission.