Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought minimum use of affidavits and shift to self-certification, so as to benefit the common man.
In a citizen-friendly initiative, all ministries and departments of the Union Government, and all state governments have been asked to make provision for self-certification of documents in place of affidavits.
The requirement of attestation by gazetted officers is also sought to be replaced by self-certification by the citizen. Under the self-certification method, the original documents are required to be produced at the final stage.
The Prime Minister, during his meeting with all Union Secretaries on June 4, 2014, had spoken of reforming the public service delivery system, and bridging the governance deficit. This measure is a start in that direction. It is expected to benefit the people immensely, as all affidavits not required by law shall eventually be done away with.
In communications addressed to all Secretaries of the Union Government as well as the Chief Secretaries of states/Administrators of Union Territories, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has noted that “obtaining either an attested copy or affidavit not only costs money to the poor citizen but also involves wastage of time of the citizens as well as of the government officials.”
The Department has called for a review of the existing requirement of affidavits and attestation by gazetted officers, and replacement by self-certification. In case of false self-certification, relevant provisions under the Indian Penal Code would apply.