What is an Affidavit?
As a lawyer, you are required to deal with various type of legal transactions on a day to day basis. The interplay of facts and law play an important role in such transactions. For example, to prove that a property has been stolen from you, you might be required to prove that you were in the possession of such property. To prove such possession you have to submit certain facts before the court. Those facts are usually written and submitted in the form of an affidavit.
An affidavit, in simple terms, can be defined as a statement of facts accompanied with an oath. Merriam Webster Dictionary describes an Affidavit as a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorised magistrate or officer. An affidavit is treated as an “evidence” within the meaning prescribed in Section 3 of the Evidence Act. Submitting a false affidavit before an authority is a punishable offence.
As mentioned above, there can be various situations where your client will be required to file an affidavit to prove certain facts. Following paragraphs in this article deal with important legal and practical aspects of the drafting of an affidavit.
Parties involved in an Affidavit
The parties involved in preparing the affidavit are as follows:
a. The relevant court or a statutory body: This is the authority to whom the affidavit is being submitted. It can be prepared for the court of law or for any other statutory body for authentication of the statement of truth.
b. Deponent: The person who writes or files an affidavit for various reasons.
c. The Oath Commissioner or the Notary Public: The person who testifies the signature of the deponent and puts his signature and seal on the affidavit to authenticate it.
d. Witnesses: Usually two witnesses are required to sign the affidavit to prove its authenticity.
Common use cases of an Affidavit
Some of the common situations where Affidavits are required to be file are as follows:
1. While entering into any form of contract or an agreement,
2. While instituting a case in the court of law,
3. While you are applying for any government jobs,
4. Where you are required to state the truth on oath
5. Affidavit for mobile phone or sim lost,
6. Affidavit for anti ragging to be submitted to the University,
7. Affidavit for name change,
8. Affidavit for birth certificate,
9. Affidavit for a death certificate,
10. Affidavit for loss of mark sheets,
11. Affidavit for loss of identity cards, or any other cards issued by the statutory bodies.
Rohan appeared for CLAT 2017 and secured All India Rank 18. He is going to get admission in the best law school in the country and has been asked to go to the admissions office with the required documents for admission on a specified date. As the premier institution is regulated by the Univerity Grants Commission the students are required to file an affidavit under the anti ragging laws. The requirement of the affidavit is to state that Rohan will not involve in any sort of ragging activities in the University during his duration of the course.
Ms Indira is working with a Multi National Company and is getting an opportunity to go to overseas for an onsite project. She is required to submit her passport to the HR team within one month. As Ms Indira returns to her home to pick her passport she notices that her passport is missing and hence she is required to get a new passport. The passport office asks her to prepare an Affidavit for a passport in lieu of lost or damaged passport.
Ms Marie Light got married to Mr Goodday on June 08th, 2014. Due to certain conflicts between the family, Ms Marie Light wants to file a Divorce Petition under Section 13(B) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Thus Ms Marie Light is required to file an affidavit before her advocate that whatever has been stated in the petition are correct to her knowledge and are true in nature.
Drafting at Affidavit?
Step 1: Identify the type of Affidavit i.e. Judicial or Non-Judicial
Step 2: Write the purpose of the Affidavit or the Heading
Step 3: Write the name of the parties in case of an affidavit being filled in Court or Write the name of the Deponent in case of other affidavits
Step 4: Write the complete address of the deponent
Step 5: Write the statements in point wise and state only the true facts. The affidavit should only contain the facts and should not talk about the law.
Step 6: Affix the signature of the deponent
Step 7: Affix the signature of the Advocate if the affidavit is for instituting a case in the court of law or else the signatures of the Authorized Personnel.
Step 8: Write the Verification.
Step 9: Affix the signatures of the Deponent and witness after the verification
Step10: Write the Place and Date on which and where the affidavit is made
Step 11: Get the affidavit Notarized by the Notary Public or the Oath Commissioner