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Report No. 28

58. Section 6-Principle.-Section 6 provides that where the witness, etc., is a Hindu or Muslim or has an objection, to making an oath he can make an affirmation. But in every other case the witness, etc., shall make an oath. Thus, the liberty of substituting an affirmation for an oath is dependent on the community to which the deponent belongs or on his raising an objection to making an oath. We think, that every witness, irrespective of the community to which he belongs, and whether or not he raises a formal objection to taking an oath, should have an absolute and unconditional right to make an affirmation instead of an oath. It may be noticed, that the Constitution gives such a liberty to holders of certain offices who are required to take an oath on assumption of office1-2.

We, therefore, recommend,3 that the section be amended so as to give absolute liberty to a witness to affirm instead of making an oath.

1. Article 60


Article 69


Article 99

Members of Parliament;

Article 124(6)

Judges of the Supreme Court;

Article 148(2)

Comptroller and Auditor-General;

Article 159


Article 188

Members of the State Legislatures;

2. Article 75(4) relating to Ministers of the Union, and Article 164(3) relating to State Ministers, speak of oaths of office and secrecy without mentioning "affirmation"; but the forms given in the Third Schedule (Forms I, 11, V and VI) allow affirmation without any condition.

3. App 1, clause 5.

Indian Oaths Act, 1873 Back

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