Indian High Commission Makes Unnecessary Stamps Harder To Get!

For documents notarised in England for use in India an Apostille is needed. No Indian High Commission [IHC] stamp is needed- see earlier Blogs. The message is beginning to get through to lawyers in India but many still ask for the IHC stamp. Now the Indian High Commission in England is resisting involvement by adding cost and complication

As I have mentioned, there is no basis in International Law for any Indian Lawyer or Administrator to request that a document notarised in England for use in India should be further endorsed with the Stamp of the Indian High Commission.

This is because India has for many years now been a signatory to the 1961 Convention of The Hague. Accordingly, an Apostille stamp of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office after Notarisation is the only legalisation needed before the paper can be accepted in India.

Ever since India first joined the Convention, some lawyers and Registries in India seem to have been unwilling to accept that the law has changed. They continue to require that the Indian High Commission in London or Birmingham should issue its stamp. In order to enable commerce to continue, the IHC has broken the logjam by agreeing to add its stamp

But the problem is, that the original, pre-Convention, use and purpose of its stamp was to confirm the identity of the English Notary. Since the signing of the Convention, Notaries no longer prove their continuing existence with the IHC annually, so in fact the IHC has no idea whether a given stamp and signature is that of the Notary or not.

Accordingly the Indian High Commission is now asking for additional documentation when posting or presenting in person to the High Commission. In effect, this is a second “Notarisation”

And in the case of a Company document, this week the IHC announced that it will require
* Original Request letter from the client, signed by a Director with a company stamp
* Notarised copy of the Director’s passport
* Copy of Company Certificate of Incorporation notarised and endorsed with Apostille

It seems to me that the message is beginning to get through to the Indian authorities and lawyers that they should not require the IHC stamp. I do suspect that the IHC itself is trying to reinforce that message, by imposing more and more stringent and of course expensive preconditions, making it harder and harder, and costlier and costlier before it will add its stamp – which is of course, unnecessary in any event.

Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)