What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is considered as a written sworn statement of facts given under oath. It’s used as a means of providing evidence in Court, to law enforcement agencies and authorities. In practice content of the law norms and documents which are difficult to directly submit in the court can be issued in the form of a general affidavit.

It is made under oath or on affirmation before the magistrate or any other authorized officer in writing.

The person who is making the testimony in the form is called the affiant. And when you sign on an affidavit, you affirm that the statement is made with full knowledge or according to your believed information. A special paper is signed before a notary, who asks the affiant to affirm that the testimony made is true and best of the knowledge of the witness.

According to Indian law, an affidavit may be taken as proof of the facts, Affidavit is not treated as “evidence” in the meaning of Section 3 of the Evidence Act. But the Supreme Court held that an affidavit can be used as evidence only and there are various types of an affidavit.

Types of an Affidavit:

There are various types of deposition and the format of the affidavit will depend on the reason one needs to make it.

Some of the types of an affidavit are in the form of like:

General affidavit – This form can be used in most situations requiring a statement made under oath.

Affidavit of Service – This is used to prove that a lawful document was properly delivered.

Affidavit of Support – This type of affidavit is used in immigration matters to prove that a visa applicant does not need government financial assistance.

Small Estate affidavit – This type of affidavits is usually used in court proceedings, for example when a family member has died without making any will in favor of any family member and then creates a dispute regarding ownership or partition or value of the property then many courts can offer a “small estate” proceeding for the value of the property, etc. The Affidavit of Small Estate like other affidavits is equivalent to testifying under oath about the statements being made as to estate value.

Financial affidavit – This type of form is required in divorce, separation, and custody matters to determine alimony and support orders. This document may also be required to prove indigency to have lawful filing and service fees waived.

Affidavit of Residency – If you need to verify the address of someone, you would use an Affidavit of Residence to prove their address.

Proof of Marriage – This sample is used in immigration matters to establish the legitimate marriage of a green card applicant.

Affidavit of Name Change: This type of affidavit is used to prove that you have legally changed your name. You will state your existing name, new name, and identify the jurisdiction where the change occurred.

Whatever you have mentioned in an affidavit including the facts or contents of an affidavit should be 100% true and correct to the knowledge of affiant or deponent. If any false statements are made then affiant can be prosecuted for perjury.

-Niyati Jangra
Litigation Associate at Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates

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