Vakalatnama / Power of Attorney to Lawyer

Vakalatnama includes memorandum of appearance or any other document by which an advocate is empowered to appear or plead before any court, tribunal or other authority.

A Vakalatnama is not defined either in the Power -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 a document appointing an agent is different from that of construing a Vakalatnama appointing a counsel.

A pleader is defined under section 2(15) of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, as follows-

“Pleader” means 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 to infer the conferment of large and wide powers on the counsel.

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