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MY VIEW: As Delhi Govt Replaces Affidavit System, These Colonial Practices Should be Abolished Too


While RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal hails Delhi’s Government move of replacing the useless affidavit-system with self-attestation, he feels that there are many other such colonial practices that should be altogether abolished. Here are some of them.

Delhi Government should be complimented for replacing the useless affidavit-system with self-attestation. Affidavits that are required for different documents like ration cards, income certificates etc., will be abolished and replaced with self-attestation from December 1.

Notary Public and Oath Commissioners usually authenticate documents for an ‘extra’ fee without actually authenticating the identity of people with those documents.


Photo for representation purpose only. Credit: Dan Moyle/Flickr

This system is prone to fraud and should be altogether abolished. Instead, registered medical practitioners, lawyers, chartered-accountants and persons in other such categories apart from gazetted officers, who are easily accessible to the public, should be empowered to attest documents when necessary. This will also be in tune with central government’s steps to review all laws from the British era, and to end those colonial laws that are not relevant any more.

[bctt tweet=”Affidavits required for different documents will be abolished & replaced with self-attestation from December 1.”]

Another such colonial practice is that a revenue-stamp is required for receipts of amounts over a specified limit, which is now Rs. 5000, even though payment is made through banks. Signed receipts become useless in case gumming of revenue-stamps is not proper, because major portion of the signature vanishes if the poorly gummed revenue-stamp is somehow removed. Central government should do away with the requirement of revenue-stamps for any receipt, either by cash or through bank. If needed, special receipt-papers printed at Government’s security printing-press, on the lines of stamp-papers, may be introduced at the cost of say Rs. 100 for heavy transactions of Rs. 50,000 and above. But such receipt-papers, if introduced, should be conveniently available at all post-offices and bank-branches (private and public-sector) apart from other convenient centres, by having a sale-commission.


Central government should also abolish the practice of having special legal-size paper for use in courts and offices. They should be replaced with normal A-4 size papers, because most photo-copiers used at homes and offices, copy papers of A-4 size or less. If necessary, court-papers can be printed in distinct colours, like the green papers that are used in Madras High Court.

– Subhash Chandra Agrawal

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