A senior government official whose appointment is published in the Gazette of India or any State Government Gazette, he/she is called Gazetted. Their authority of using an official stamp comes from the President of India or the Governors of States. To put it simply, they represent the Indian State and the President.
Important identification & certification documents, to avail various government and banking facilities, require attestation by a gazetted officer, first.
Who is a Gazetted Officer
Basically, a Gazetted Officer belongs to either of the below categories:
- Group A or Class I (Gazetted and Executive officers):
This class consists of the highest class of government servants. They are ranked from level 1 to 10 in the Civilian and Defence Pay Matrices. Include:
- Officers of Indian Armed forces,
- Magistrates in Judicial services and above,
- Central and State service men (Doctors, Engineers, Drug Controller),
- Employees of central and state government universities (Vice Chancellors, Principals, Assistant Registrars, Faculty members, etc.),
- Scientists working in a government-funded research organization (such as DRDO etc.),
- Central or state government employees who have Group A service Rules (IAS, IES, DIG, DCP, ASP, DGP, JCP, IB, SDPO, etc.),
- All Police officers ranking above circle inspector.
- Group B or Class II (Gazetted officers):
- Section Officers,
- Assistant Executive Engineers,
- Block Development Officers (BDO),
- Junior Doctors working in Government Hospitals,
- Headmasters of Government High Schools,
- 2nd Lieutenant,
- Lecturers of Government colleges,
- Income Tax and Revenue officials.
Post-retirement they cease to be Gazetted officers, with all powers to attest divested.
Gazetted Officer Attestation
The Gazetted Officer who puts the stamp, along with this authority, becomes responsible to check and verify that the person actually exists. The purpose of the Attestation is to make sure that the person is legally authentic.
An Official can not attest a document, without identifying the person. Therefore, they may keep a copy of your document.
Situations requiring Gazetted Officer Attestation
You would need to reach the Gazetted Officer, with your valid original ID proof and its copy to get your documents attested. It is, generally, required when applying for:
- Ration card
- Government jobs
- To take Admission in Schools, Colleges
- While filing for tenders, some have a prerequisite of attested certificates
- Documents for Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
Important points about Gazetted Officer Attestation
- A Gazetted Officer does not include any officers of Notary, Nagar Sevak, etc.
- Only officers of Group A and Group B can attest the documents. Officials coming under two other categories Group C and Group D are not Gazetted, Officers.
- If attestation is being done for the purpose of applying for a passport. It can only be done by Group A gazetted officer only who are under the rank of Secretary/Dy. Director (Level 11 and above), for example, Sub-divisional Magistrate, etc.
- Only a Group A official can attest the documents related to Citizenship Certification.
- Only a Police Official and Group A official can attest Character Certificate.
- The name, designation and contact number of the gazetted officer should be clearly mentioned.
- The Documents are to be attested in blue ink only. To be valid, it has to have a stamp of the attesting officer and the department or organization he belongs to.
- There are no fees for getting the attestation done by any gazetted officer.
End of Gazetted Officer’s Attestation
One of the lesser spoken and disputed contribution of the current government has been the relaxation in the troublesome practice of requiring Attested copies of Certificates for higher studies and government jobs, to accompany the application forms. Since 2014, a lot of services require only self-attested copies now. Earlier, it was resulting in a wastage of time and the general citizens, many times, had to pay money for this free service.
The Central Government, also, wrote to the State Governments guiding them to do away with the requirement of attaching affidavits or documents attested by Notary or Gazetted Officials. To reduce red-tape, simplify the procedure and make the methods citizen friendly.
Taking the cue, State Governments are adopting the provision of Self-Certification by applicants, instead of asking for an attested copy, in a phased manner. Thereafter, self-attested documents such as birth certificates and mark sheets, are accepted. Gazetted Officer’s attestation is no more required to take a Tatkal Passport or admissions to State or Central Universities or even Government jobs.
Self-Attestation rules, however, require the person to keep ready the original documents at the final stage.s
Though the Central Government wants to completely rid this requirement with the help of biometrical verification. Still, Self-Attestation is not permitted in some cases where it is a statutory requirement.
The article has been written by Reema, a content writer with LegalRaasta. India’s top portal for professional help related to legal, finance and business such as ITR filing, Company Registration, trademark registration, etc.