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Report No. 77

6.9. Affidavits.-

In the matter of recording evidence, we should also consider the desirability of proving things like those of a formal nature by affidavits, instead of by oral evidence. As it is, the general practice is to call witnesses to Court even though their evidence is of a very formal character.

Much time of a number of witnesses whose evidence is of a formal nature and, to some extent, of the courts, would be saved if, instead of producing them in courts, the facts in respect of which they have to depose are proved by means of the affidavit filed by them in accordance with Order 19, C.P.C. Without expressing our concurrence, we may refer to the observations of Lord Devlin1 who has gone to the extent of saying-

"We shall not make any worthwhile saving in the cost of litigation so long as we accept it as the inalienable right of every litigant to have the whole of the evidence and argument presented by word of mouth. It is not a right that is recognised by any legal system except the English and those that are based on it."

1. See Law Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Indian Law Institute, W.B. State Unit), p. 48.

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