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An affidavit, attested by Nortary, permissible under law: HC

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Srinagar: An affidavit, in support of a petition and attested by the Notary, is permissible under law and can be relied upon by the Court, the Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh High Court said today.

The ruling was held in a case titled Abdul Rashid Bhat, an under trial, versus Financial Commissioner Kashmir and others. The counsel for the private respondents had raised a preliminary objection with regard to maintainability of the petition of the under trial. He reasoned that the affidavit of the petitioner in support of his writ petition has not been attested and sworn in accordance with the law.

The affidavit accompanying the writ petition, has been attested by a Notary and not by the Oath Commissioner as required by the provisions contained in the Writ Proceedings Rules, 1997, the lawyer said.

He contended that the petitioner is an under trial prisoner, as such, it would have been improbable for the Notary to administer oath to the petitioner inside the jail before attesting the affidavit.

Justice Sanjar Dhar who heard the case said “an affidavit intended for use in the High Court may be sworn before any Court or Magistrate, a Notary, an Oath Commissioner appointed by the High Court, or any other officer appointed by any other Court which the State Government has generally or specifically empowered in this behalf”.

The bench said “any affidavit attested by any of the aforesaid authorities is legally permissible for its use in the High Court”.

It also said that it would be in the interests of administration of justice if in charge of the jails are vested with powers of Oath Commissioners by the High Court so that the affidavits which are intended to be used by the prisoners before the Courts are attested by the said officers.

It said this would obviate the difficulties that are generally being faced by the prisoners while filing their pleadings/affidavits before different courts, particularly in cases of civil nature.

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