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Who Is A Notary Public?

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According to the Indian law, a Notary Public or Notary is a person who is authorized to carry out certain legal formalities/activities. This would include drawing up and/or validating contracts, deeds and other such legal documents.

Notary in India

 

The primary role of a Notary Public is to act as an impartial witness while discharging fraud deterrent activities related to legal documents. Such an act is usually referred to as notarization.

The Central Government, for the whole or any part of India, and any State Government, for the whole or any part of the State, may appoint any legal practitioners or other persons as notaries, who possess such qualifications as may be prescribed (Section 3 of the Act).

Duties Of A Notary Public In India

Under the Notaries Act, 1952, the Central or State Govt. may appoint one Notary Public for a region or for the whole country or a whole state or a part of the state. Duties of a Notary public are governed by the Notaries Act, 1952 and they are-

  • Certify, attest or authenticate any instrument
  • Administer oaths or witness swearing by deponents for affidavits
  • To carry out translations and verify such translations of legal documents from one language to another
  • To record proof/evidence in criminal or civil trials and to act as commissioner if so directed
  • To perform the function of an arbitrator, counselor or mediator

Notarization Fee In India

According to Rule 10 of the Notaries Rules, 1956, the stipulated fee payable to a Notary Public for various activities is as follows –

  1. Notarization of instruments
    • INR 35/- if amount in the instrument does not exceed INR 10,000/-
    • INR 75/- if the amount is between INR 10,000/- and INR 25,000/-
    • INR 110/- if the amount of the instrument is between INR 25,000/- and INR 50,000/-
    • INR 150/- if the amount exceeds INR 50,000/-
  2. Half the charge of the original for duplicate protests
  3. INR 15/- for verifying, certifying and attesting execution of any instrument
  4. INR 35/- for promissory note presentations, acceptance of payments or bills
  5. INR 15/- for administering/witnessing oaths or to take affidavits from deponents
  6. INR 150/- towards preparation of documents or instruments to be used outside the country
  7. INR 75/- for translation and verification of such translated document from one language to another
  8. INR 10/- per page for attesting a document as true copy

The rates of fees to be charged by a notary shall be displayed by him in conspicuous place inside as well as outside his chamber or office.

In addition to the above fees, a notary may charge the travelling allowance by road or by rail at the rate of rupees five per kilometer.

Significance Of Notarization

Rule 12 of the Notary Rules, 1956 prescribes that every notary shall use a plain circular seal of a diameter of 5 c.m. bearing his name, the jurisdictional area within which he has been appointed to exercise his functions, the registration number,expiry date and the circumscription “NOTARY”, and also the name of the Government which appointed him.

The Notarial Seal acts as a seal of verification meaning that the facts mentioned and the signatures on the document are indeed authentic. It also acts as validation for the fact that the identities of the people signing the document have been verified. It helps prevent forgery and is one of the foremost ways used to avoid frauds in legal documents.

In any legal proceeding, a Notary seal if present on a document, will act as confirmation for the courts that the signatures were placed by a genuine person and not forged or fabricated. It also acts as proof that the individual was not forced into signing it. As one of the many functions of a Notary Public is to witness the document being signed, notarization renders a document authentic, true and voluntarily drafted in many senses.

Rental agreements are one of the most common legal documents made in our country. Ever wondered whether a rental agreement or a lease requires notarization?

Consequences Of Not Notarizing A Document

The law does not mandate that all legal documents be notarized. However, for some, it is mandatory. For those documents where notarization is mandatory, lack of it can lead to the document being declared legally unenforceable or invalid.

If you do not notarize your documents, you are robbing it of a layer of authenticity which could potentially get your document rejected in court cases or similar scenarios. Rules and therefore, consequences relating to notarization or the lack of it vary from state to state in India. But the summary is that if you do not notarize a document, its legally validity and authenticity will be doubtful.

How To Become A Notary Public In India?

If you are desirous of becoming a Notary Public yourself in India, here are some things that you must be aware of-

  1. You need to have been practising law for at least 10 years (7 years for candidates belonging to the SC/ST category)
  2. A woman can apply for the same if she has been practising law for 7 years as a legal practitioner
  3. If a person has been a member of the Indian Legal Services under the Central Govt. for the last 10 years and has been-
    • a member of the Judicial services
    • held office under State/Central govt. for a position requiring special knowledge of law
    • held office in the Dept. of Judge Advocate General or the legal dept. of the Armed Forces

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07 Mar, 16

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