Dear Editor,
Signature is a person’s name written in a distinctive way as a form of identification or authorization, defines Oxford Dictionary. Signature means trust. Signature has the power to give and power to take. The shape and form of signature in due course of time will not be the same compared to the first signature. Signature is writing one’s own name. Shape and form of signature changes even as the handwriting changes in due course of time. A very little variation in signature fails to get back the deposited money from Banks. Signature on challan for depositing the amount in Banks is never verified because anybody can deposit the amount to anybody’s Bank account. But the depositholder’s signature is expected to be perfect while drawing his own money. Authority is exercised through signature, authority is transferred through signature and authority is taken through signature. Signature has such an importance that unscrupulous persons practice day and night to forge the signature of other persons for gaining personal advantages either in the form of finance or receiving goods or services. Signature represents that the signatory has read the contents of letters, contents of deeds and it also represents that a person is in agreement with terms and conditions. A person unable to write his name to show it as signature is obliged to put his left hand thumb impression. Thumb impression is taken in lieu of signature with attestation from a known person. Even a person identifying the thumb impression of a person is bound to put his signature. Obviously need for signature cannot be dispensed with. It is not unusual that people do not just write their names to show that it is their signature. Name is written with deviation from the usual course of writing to ensure that the signature is not forged by others. There are many people who are unaccustomed to sign their name deviating from the usual course of their writing style and habit. When the signature has the readability, there is no need to write the name of the signatory underneath the signature. But name underneath the signature is written when it cannot be identified by seeing it. Importance of signature in the official careers need not be overemphasized. An officer blindly signing any record put up by his subordinates is going to court trouble if the subordinate is a person who has no qualm to take undue advantage of the officer’s trust in him. Blind faith is very dangerous. Blind faith drives an officer to put signature blindly. A document becomes a document generated in offices when it passes through two or three stages. All the officials sitting in these stages would do well to carefully study the record generated from the level of case worker. For not-so-important records, the case worker and his official superiors put an initials under the seal for which the controlling officer or the head of the office puts his full signature. When something goes wrong, it is the controlling officer or the head of the office who is officially answerable and accountable. He cannot abdicate his responsibility on the plea that the mistake happened from his subordinates. Signature in a hurry is neither advisable nor desirable. Patience to read or study must precede the signature on records. Just as signature forms a very essential part of human life, date and time also have the same importance. A signatory must cultivate the habit of writing the date, month and year underneath the signature. At times, the time of signature also has its own importance. Time and date under signature many times help in analysing the case properly and unearthing the truth. A large number of people do not write the date, month and year under their signature. If there are some people who write the date, they stop at date and month and fall short of writing the year. The need for knowing the year is strongly felt in the future years. Writing all the four digits of year under the signature is more desirable. Records carefully preserved and protected, and needed for verification after two or more centuries fail to reveal the year to which they belong to, if all the four digits of the year are not written under signature. The problem may not be so severe in the case of records generated in the offices if the date and year along with seal are found in the despatch number on the body of the documents. But an individual filing or submitting an application to the office should pay utmost attention to write the date, month and year. Many times, in the government offices, there will be yawning gap between the date of signature attested by the officer and the date of despatch of letters. Gap between the date of signing and despatching should not be too wide. Delayed despatch of records may sometimes render the records redundant. If signature is a statutory requirement, date, month and year are absolutely necessary to the stakeholders when the records are considered very important. Cheques bearing signature with date are liable for rejection because the dated signature does not tally with the specimen signature obtained by the Banks at the time of opening account. Banks must find some remedy to accept the dated cheques.
K.V. Seetharamaiah

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