Attestation: When an ancient, unnecessary system leads people to fake it

To avoid hassle or harassment while having their required documents as well as photographs attested by a first-class gazetted officer to apply for jobs or other purposes, many choose an easy way out – they themselves get their attestation done using fake seals and signatures or resort to agents.

There is hardly anyone who has not faked attestation, which many think is an “unnecessary” archaic system.

Take job-seeker Shakhawat Hossain, for an example – he is now preparing for a job on completion of his graduation from a public university. Last week, he applied for a contractual post in a project being implemented by the Bangladesh Postal Department. He was asked to send attested copies of his academic certificates and NID attached with the job application. Shakhawat himself attested the copies, using a forged rubber stamp and signature of a first class gazetted officer.

Shakhawat told The Business Standard, “I am applying for one or two jobs a week and every time I need to have my documents attested prior to submitting a job application.”

He questioned, “How will I have so many papers attested in Dhaka all the time? This is a kind of unnecessary trouble, so I have made a seal of a first-class officer from Nilkhet and I am attesting the necessary documents by myself.”

Shamsul Islam, another job applicant, told TBS that such an ancient system is completely unnecessary in this modern age. “If we go to an officer every now and then to get our documents attested, they will be annoyed. Why is the attestation necessary as we have to carry original certificates during viva voce anyway?”

Most job-seekers are having to go through the attestation hassle. And, some face harassment after going to a first class gazetted office because they at times do not agree to attest documents without prior familiarity. Besides, many get their documents attested via agents.

So, many job applicants are forced to make fake seals and forge signatures and attest documents by themselves.

Besides, many people use fake attestation for various important purposes.

Public administration experts say attestation is absolutely unnecessary and the old system should be scrapped. 

Talking to TBS, at least 25 job-seekers who are applying regularly for jobs said they had their documents attested by themselves at least once. Many had no other way out but to do so.

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