An “AFFIDAVIT” is a written statement that is considered made under oath. It is only valid when made voluntarily and without coercion. When you sign an affidavit, you are asserting that the information is true and that you have personal knowledge of the facts contained in the affidavit. By signing, you are also stating that you are competent to testify if called into court about the information provided in the affidavit. Being competent to testify generally means that you are of sound mind and you are over the age of majority. It is merely treated as evidence under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act.
All affidavits need to be drawn up in the first person and should contain facts. A person who makes an affidavit is called a Deponent or an Affiant. The person who has authority to attest a certificate may be a Magistrate who may in turn be Judicial or an Executive Magistrate, a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Oaths depending upon the affidavit which needs to be attested. Indians living abroad can swear affidavits before Consular officers in Indian embassy.
COMPONENTS OF AN AFFIDAVIT
An Affidavit should be in Written
An Affidavit must be by 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. Any Oral statements that are taken as oath before the law does not in any way equal an affidavit.
Oath made by an individual
An affidavit is solemn promise by the deponent. 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. An Affidavit can be created only by an individual, and not by any artificial persons like Companies and other associations or Groups of individuals.
Deponent should make affidavits
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.
Swearing before Judicial Officer or Notary Public
An affidavit can be sworn 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.
NEEDS OF AFFIDAVITS
Affidavits can be used for many purposes. They are most often filed with the court to show that specific information is true. In some cases, an attorney can use your affidavit so that you do not have to appear in court or at another official legal proceeding. They can save considerable time and money in a variety of legal events. Affidavits are also automatically required in a number of judicial proceedings, particularly in estate planning matters and family law issues. Without these affidavits, other legal instruments may not be considered valid, or proving that they are valid would be much more difficult. Affidavits are useful beyond the courtroom as well. Banks, insurance companies, and other entities may require an affidavit as part of their official functions.
Formalization of Affidavit
You must sign an affidavit for it to be effective. Usually, the signature must occur in the presence of a notary. A notary is authorized by the state to verify your signature for many types of formal or legal documents. Generally, a notary will check your driver’s license, passport, or other ID information to confirm your identity before allowing you to sign the document. The notary is generally not permitted to tell you which type of signature is required, so it is up to you to request the correct form.
Types of Affidavits
- Name Change Affidavits
1. General Name Change Affidavit
2. Change of Name After Marriage Affidavit
3. Change of Name of Minor Affidavit
- Change of Signature Affidavit
- Address Proof Affidavit
- Proof of Date of Birth Affidavit
- Legal Heir Affidavit
- Income Proof Affidavit
- Joint Affidavit for Registration of Marriage
- No-criminal record Affidavit
- Claim Settlement in Bank Affidavit
- Issue of Duplicate Certificates/ Documents/ Mark lists Affidavit
- First Child Affidavit
- Educational Loan Affidavit
- Anti Ragging Affidavit
- Gap in education/employment Affidavit
- Passport Affidavits
- LPG Annexures