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The proplawyer shall have good knowledge about witness, their role during execution of document, importance of witnesses.

Attesting Witness

The person who signed as witness on the last page of the document is known as attesting witness who certifies that the executant has signed the document in his presence or he has received a personal acknowledgment from the executant of the signature. More than one (two or more) attesting witnesses are needed for attestation of a document.

The meaning of attestation of a deed/ document as per Transfer of Property Act in Sec.3 is to have meant attested by two or more witnesses each of whom has seen the executant sign or affix his mark to the document, or has seen some other person sign the document in the presence and by the direction of the executant, or has received from the executant a personal acknowledgment of his signature or mark, or of the signature of such other person, and each of whom has signed in the document in the presence of the executant.

It may be noted that all the attesting witnesses has to sign in the presence of executant but it shall not be necessary that all of them are present at the same time.

Purpose of attestation

When the execution of a (registered or unregistered) document is denied by the purported executant, the attesting witness will be called for the purpose of proving the execution. In the case of Will, the execution has to be proved by the attesting witness alone. (Section 68 in The Indian Evidence Act, 1872)

Influence of attesting witness over property, relation with executant and claimants, their importance in proving the execution.

Witness to a document has an important role, in addition to proving of execution of the document, to avoid the possible claims, dispute or litigation. Owner of adjoining property as witness to a sale deed, possible legal heirs of the executant as witnesses to a settlement deed, partition deed shall prevent the future claims, disputes and help to prove the possession of the executant and ensure the peaceful and quite enjoyment of the property by the claimant.

Identifying Witness

The person who signed as witness on the second page of the document at the time of registration of the document is known as identifying witness. He certifies, before the registering authority, that he knows the executant personally and the executant is who he claims to be. In other words, the identifying witness acts as a human identity card.

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Category Property Law, Other Articles by - Sri Vijayan.A