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Home > Real Estate, Wills, Probate and Trust > Power of Attorney
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Vakalatnama
VAKALATNAMA

A Vakalatnama is not defined either in the Powers-of Attorney Act, 1882 or in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. A Vakalatnama is the document empowering a lawyer to act for and on behalf of his client.

A Vakalatnama under which a lawyer is empowered to act may be general. It may specifically confer wide authority upon a lawyer. A lawyer holding a Vakalatnama can hardly be said to be a person without authority. The rule of construction of a document appointing an agent is different from that of construing a Vakalatnama appointing a counsel. He has a tripartite relationship, one with the public, another with include one or two of these his client. A Vakalatnama is in essence a power of attorney.

The Code of Civil procedure requires the appointment of a counsel to act in court by a document in writing. When a counsel is appointed under a document, the enumeration of certain powers in it would not exclude the implied powers necessarily inherent in the appointment, however exhaustive the enumeration of the powers necessary for the proper discharge of the work of counsel in court.

With regard to litigation in civil court the Code of Civil procedure provides that appearances may be by recognized agents or by pleaders appearing, applying or acting on its behalf.

It further says that no pleader shall act for any person in court unless he has been appointed for the purpose by such person by a document in writing.

A pleader is defined under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, as, any person entitled to appear and plead for another in Court and includes an Advocate, a Vakil and an Attorney of a High Court. Though in a sense a Vakalatnama is a power-of-attorney, in the matter of construction, courts have drawn a distinction between the two and in the application of the principles of construction, most of the courts while interpreting a power of attorney strictly have interpreted a Vakalatnama liberally so as infer the conferment of large and wide powers on the counsel.

The Civil Procedure Code further provides:
  1. No pleader shall act for any person in any Court, unless he has been appointed for the purpose by such person by a document in writing signed by such person or by his recognized agent or by some other person duly authorized by or under a power-of-attorney to make such appointment.
  2. Every such appointment shall be filed in court and shall, be deemed to be in force until determined with the leave of the Court by a writing signed by the client or the pleader, as the case may be, and filed in a Court, or until the client or the pleader dies, or until all proceedings in the suit are ended so far as regards the client.
  3. For the purposes of this sub-rule, the following shall be deemed to be proceedings in the suit,
  1. an application for the review of decree or order in the suit,
  2. an application under section 144 or under section 152 of this Code, in relation to any decree or order made in the suit,
  3. an appeal from any decree or order in the suit, and
  4. an application or act for the purpose of obtaining copies of documents or return of documents produced or filed in the suit or of obtaining a refund of moneys paid into the Court in connection with the suit.
Once validly appointed a pleader’s authority to act for the client shall continue until it is determined
  1. with the leave of the court in writing signed by the client or the pleader as the case may be, to be filed in court;
  2. by the death of the pleader or the client; and
  3. if all the proceedings in the suit have ended as regards the client.
A power of attorney for filing a compromise does not necessarily imply an authority for making a compromise on behalf of the principle without his knowledge and consent.

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