SC rap for Notary over Home Secy affidavit

Endorsing an affidavit of Union Home Secretary R K Singh, with a mix-up of dates and other irregularities, has landed a Delhi Notary Public in trouble. The Supreme Court has summoned the Notary to show cause why his licence should not be suspended and cancelled for attesting Singh's affidavit by putting a backdate on it. The court has sought an explanation from the Notary for attesting the document in Singh's absence but stating that it was signed by Singh in his presence.

The episode unfolded last week before a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya when Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra handed over a one-page affidavit by Singh as per the court's previous order.

The Bench had asked Singh to file an affidavit indicating therein the outer time limit within which all vacant posts in the CBI could be filled up. The affidavit caught attention for its irregularities, besides its inadequacy to put forth a reply on a deadline to fill up the vacant posts. The Bench said that they were not satisfied with the content. They noticed another anomaly at the bottom of the document.

The ASG and a CBI administrative officer were asked as to when this affidavit was prepared. They responded that it was prepared on the same day. "If it was prepared today, how does it bear the date of a day before?" questioned the Bench. The ASG sought to immediately withdraw the affidavit, but his request was turned down.

"We could have allowed you to do so but the issue is that it could have been done at the behest of the Home Secretary. He must have had sent someone for attestation... we might suspend the licence of the Notary... but that will be only a small fry... issue is we have discovered such a system," observed the Bench, saying the affidavit was not even properly drafted.

... contd.

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