By Megha Mittal (email@example.com)
Beware before you swear!
What is an Affidavit?
“Affidavit” is a term used very frequently in the common-parlance; however, the consequences it carries are highly underestimated. People file affidavits being unaware of what its repercussions might be and also unaware of the fact whether they are at all competent to make the affidavit. Before analysing who can file an affidavit, it is important to understand the duty bestowed upon a person providing affidavit. Even before that let us first understand what an affidavit is.
An affidavit is sworn, written statement, confirmed by oath or affirmation, voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent, administered or notarised by a person authorised to do so by law.
We shall now look through the different components of the different components of an affidavit:
- “Written statement”– an affidavit must be a written one. Oral statements sworn before law do not tantamount to affidavit. An affidavit may be used as an evidence before law and thus, must be written.
- “Oath or affirmation”– an oath or affirmation is a solemn promise regarding one’s actions, past, present or future.
- “Voluntarily”– the most significant consequence of an affidavit is that it has a binding effect on the person making such affidavit, and thus, an affidavit must be voluntarily and cautiously made. If any aggrieved person proves that the affidavit was made as a result of coercion or undue pressure, it shall not be valid.
- “Affiant or deponent”- an affiant or a deponent is the person who makes an affidavit under oath.
- “Notarised”– lastly, an affidavit must be compulsorily notarised, i.e. the genuinity of the affidavit is to be certified by a notary public appointed by the state or the central government.