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Affidavit and its role in Evidence

ORDER 19  of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 deals with affidavit  and also provisions for valid affidavit as laid down in the Rules 5 and 13 of the Supreme Court Rules. It  should disclose  the source of information whether it is based on personal knowledge or information or belief. Similar provisions are contained in Order 19 Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It  is  definitely a way of placing evidence before the Court.

Role of Affidavit under Order 19 civil procedure code 1908

  1. Power to order any point to be proved by affidavit.-

Any Court may at any time for sufficient reason order that any particular fact or facts may be proved by affidavit, or that the affidavit of any witness may be read at the hearing, on such conditions as the Court thinks reasonable:

Provided that where it appears to the Court that either party bona fide desires the production of a witness for cross-examination, and that such witness can be produced, an order shall not be made authorising the evidence of such witness to be given by affidavit.

  1. Power to order attendance of deponent for cross-examination.-

(1) Upon any application evidence may be given by affidavit, but the Court may, at the instance of either party, order the attendance for cross-examination of the deponent.

(2) Such attendance shall be in Court, unless the deponent is exempted from personal appearance in Court or the Court otherwise directs.

  1. 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.

(2) The costs of every affidavit which shall unnecessarily set forth matters of hearsay or argumentative matter, or copies of or extracts from documents, shall (unless the Court otherwise directs) be paid by the party filing the same.

Verification of Affidavit

In State of Bombay v. Purushottam Jog: Naik, [l952] SCK 674, a Constitution Bench considering the importance of verification of an affidavits observed:

“We wish, however, to observe that the verification of the affidavits produced here is defective. The body of the affidavit discloses that certain matters were known to the Secretary who made the affidavit personally.The verification however states that everything was true to the best of his information and belief. We point this out as slipshod verification of this type might in a given case lead to a rejection of the affidavit. Verification should invariably be modelled on the lines of Order XIX, Rule 3, of the Civil Procedure Code, whether the Code applies in terms or not. And when the matter deposed to is not based on personal knowledge the sources of information should be clearly disclosed.”

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