DailyPost 1688

“An affidavit (Medieval Latin for he has declared under oath) is a written statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation which is administered by a person who is authorised to do so by law.” Affidavit is a critical document of the intent / action of a person or the government pertaining to  legal requirements and is a statement of fact.  Inbuilt veracity. Affidavits have withstood the test of time so to say and of legal and judicial scrutiny as well and continues to remain a matter of legal faith. If the action already taken fulfills the task or goal then it is fine and is as conscientious as it can be. The issue arises when governments come into question or big enterprises or organizations are taken to task for non-fulfillment of their mandated tasks or activities.

Leaving aside all the organisations or enterprises for the time being, if all the affidavits filed by the governments since times immemorial were to be reality, there wouldn’t have remained anything pending with the governments at least in cases, which have already been heard. Unfortunately, these are  not citations and rulings, which the lawyers keep on garnering and collating to create a legal narrative in favor of their clients. An affidavit is a verbatim list of action taken with regards to a particular issue or the transaction; chronological, decisions taken and acted upon. In most cases there is a desperation to prove that they did their best and whatever transpired was despite their best efforts.

Acceptance of the affidavit is generally treated as a victory even if it is a short lived  one. The genesis of the issue of legal contention is extremely important. Why does it happen that the issue reaches the court in the first place? Why  action was not taken, which was legally mandated to have been taken. If these are cases related to crisis situations, how much time and energy goes in fighting the cases. Creating a legal document of hundreds of pages is no small task. If intentions were so clear and the concerned has expertise to decide, act and deliver, this situation would not have arisen in the first place. Whatever might be the fate of the Oxygen Case, the fate of the citizens are above and beyond affidavits. The Police Reforms cases* based on the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgement / directives of 2006 did not transform into reality, for which the government affidavits across the country played a critical negative role.


Sanjay Sahay

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