Sunday 5 February 2017

When affidavits shall not be admissible in evidence?

 In Barium Chemicals Limited and another v.
Company Law Board and others, AIR 1967 SC 295, another Constitution Bench of this Court upheld the same principle:
"The question then is: What were the materials placed by the appellants in support of this case which the respondents had to answer? According to Paragraph 27 of the petition, the proximate cause for the issuance of the order was the discussion that the two friends of the 2nd respondent had with him, the petition which they filed at his instance and the direction which the 2nd respondent gave to respondent No. 7. But these allegations are not grounded on any knowledge but only on reasons to believe. Even for their reasons to believe, the appellants do not disclose any information on which they were founded. No particulars as to the alleged discussion with the 2nd respondent, or of the petition which the said two friends were said to have made, such as  its contents, its time or to which authority it was made are forthcoming. It is true that in a case of this kind it would be difficult for a petitioner to have personal knowledge in regard to an averment of mala fides, but then were such knowledge is wanting he has to disclose his source of information so that the other side gets a fair chance to verify it and make an effective answer. In such a situation, this Court had to observe in 1952 SCR 674: AIR 1952 SC 317, that as slipshod verifications of affidavits might lead to their rejection, they should be modelled on the lines of O. XIX, R. 3 of the Civil Procedure Code and that where an averment is not based on personal knowledge, the source of information should be clearly deposed. In making these observations this Court endorse the remarks as regards verification made in the Calcutta decision in Padmabati Dasi v. Rasik Lal Dhar, (1910) ILR 37 Cal 259."
18. Another Constitution Bench of this Court in A.
K. K. Nambiar v. Union of India and another, AIR 1970 SC 652, held as follows:
"The appellant filed an affidavit in support of the petition. Neither the petition nor the affidavit was verified. The affidavits which were filed in answer to the appellant's petition were also not verified. The reasons for verification of affidavits are to enable the Court to find out which facts can be said to be proved on the affidavit evidence of rival  parties. Allegations may be true to knowledge or allegations may be true to information received from persons or allegations may be based on records. The importance of verification is to test the genuineness and authenticity of allegations and also to make the deponent responsible for allegations. In essence verification is required to enable the Court to find out as to whether it will be safe to act on such affidavit evidence. In the present case, the affidavits of all the parties suffer from the mischief of lack of proper verification with the result that the affidavits should not be admissible in evidence."
Supreme Court of India
Amar Singh vs Union Of India & Ors on 11 May, 2011

Bench: G.S. Singhvi, Asok Kumar Ganguly
Read full judgment : click here 
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