In what may come as a major relief to citizens, the government has decided to do away with the necessity of filing affidavits from a gazetted officer or a notary for a big chunk of government-related work and promote self-attestation of documents.
It has also asked states to review the existing requirement of attaching such affidavits with various application forms and implement self-attestation of documents, said an official in the department of administrative reforms and public grievances.
"Getting an affidavit is a very cumbersome process. People have to pay Rs. 100-500 for getting affidavits from a notary. Most of the gazetted officials also do not give their nod for affidavits in the absence of sufficient documents.
"The situation is worse in villages and in remote areas. If state governments promote self-attestation it will be a boon for people," he said.
The move is based on the recommendation of 12th report — 'citizen centric administration-the heart of governance' — of the second administrative Reforms Commission which suggested simplifying procedures for self-certification provision.
"Taking a cue from this, some ministries or state governments have adopted the provision of self-certification of documents like marksheet, birth certificate, etc by the applicants or stakeholders instead of asking for an attested copy of the documents by a gazetted officer or filing of affidavits.
"Under the self-attestation method, the original documents are required to be produced at the final stage," according to an office memorandum sent to all chief secretaries of the states and Union territories administrators.
It said the method of self-attestation is "citizen friendly and obtaining either an attested copy or affidavit not only cost money but also involves wastage of time of the citizens and the government officials".
It is requested to kindly review the existing requirements of attested copy or affidavit in various application forms in a phased manner and wherever possible make provision for self-certification of documents, after obtaining the approval from competent authority, said the government's circular.
"The centre has been discussing with the states and union territories the ways to do away with the requirement of filing affidavit from a notary or gazetted officials. However, self-attestation of documents will not be permitted for those works where it is a statutory requirement," the official said.