Vakalatnama: how to fill, Know the content,terms,validity,format & judgements of vakalatnama

(1) What is vakalatnama?

Vakalatnama is a written document that is given by a client to an advocate to appear and or plead before any court of law on behalf of him.it also known as a memo of appearance, Vakilat Patra, VP.

There is no mention of any particular definition of Vakalatnama in the civil procedure code 1908 as well as the Power of Attorney Act, 1882.

The meaning of Vakalatnama is defined in the advocates” Welfare Fund Act, 2001 under section 2(u) “Vakalatnama” includes a memorandum of appearance or any other document by which an advocate is empowered to appear or plead before any court, tribunal or other authority;

The holder of the vakalatnama its called pleader, an advocate, counsel, vakil or an attorney who is authorized to accept the vakalatnama behalf of his client or party of the litigation.

The meaning of advocate is defined in the Advocates” Welfare Fund Act, 2001 under section 2(a) “advocate” means an advocate whose name has been entered in the State roll prepared and maintained by a State Bar Council under section 17 of the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961) and who is a member of a State Bar Association or State Advocates’ Association; the same meaning of advocate is mention in the advocates Act, 1961 Under Section 2 (1) (a) Advocate” means an advocate entered in any roll under the provisions of this Act.

(2) how to fill up vakalatnama form?

Vakalatanama is one kind of power of attorney which gives to the pleader for performing behalf of his client in various type of work and it is also to be binding of client or litigant who gives his vakalatnama to a pleader.

therefor it is necessary to fill up a vakalatnama with the understanding to work with responsibility and attention. Therefore it is also advisable for the client or litigant to carefully read all the terms and conditions mentioned in such vakalatnama and avoid to sing in a blank vakalatnama.

Vakalatnama it is a document that which is creates a specific relationship between the lawyer and the client.

to fill up vakalatnama form every litigant should carefully following steps.

(a) should be mentioned the names of the persons who are executing the Vakalatnama, and not leaving the relevant column blank.

(b) must disclose the name, designation or authority of the person executing the Vakalatnama if the Vakalatnama is signed on behalf of a company, society or body.

(c) Affixing a seal of any or by mentioning the name and designation below the signature of the executant.

(d) mention the name of the pleader in whose favor the Vakalatnama is executed, to sign it in token of its acceptance.

(e) provide proper identification of the person( if require) who executed the Vakalatnama, so that the pleader is satisfied himself with the execution of the Vakalatnama.

(f) mention the address of the pleader for purpose of service or communication in the future.

(g) If the Vakalatnama is executed by someone for self and on behalf of others mention the reason why it is executed on behalf of such a person. For example, in the case of a guardian of the minor children are parties. 

(h) Where the Vakalatnama is executed by a power of attorney holder of a party, disclose a copy of the power of attorney.

(i) Where more than one person signs a single vakalatnama, mentioning their serial numbers or names in brackets. 

(3) Which types of terms mention in vakalatnama?

Generally, the following types of terms mention in vakalatnama. 

The client will agree to advocate’s decision which is done on behalf of a client.

The client will willing to accept all charges or costs of all legal proceedings.

The advocate has the right to keep all the documents until complete fees not paid by the client.

If during the trial client wants to change his lawyer he has the right to do so. 

The lawyer has the right to take all the decisions for the beneficiary purpose of the client.

(4) who is authorized to give a vakalatnama?

Any affected party or aggrieved person can be eligible and authorize to give a vakalatnama.

Any authorized person can execute the Vakalatnama on behalf of the company, society or body.

Parents can be authorized as a guardian of the minor children.

A power of attorney holder of a party, can also eligible to file a vakalatnama.

(5) what types of content should be mention in vakalatnama?

Generally following types of content mentioned in vakalatnama.

Details of a case number and name of the court. 

Full name of the authorized person who executed the vakalatnama.

Full name of the advocate and office or service address of the appointed advocate. 

Signature of the person who appoints advocate.

Signature of the appointed advocate as an acceptance of vakilatpatra. 

(6) what is the validity of a vakalatnama?

The Vakalatpatra is valid until the end of the case, after the given Vakalatnama to an Advocate, it means that the Advocate can act behalf of you till the end of the case. In case if the litigant doesn’t want to continue with that lawyer or want to discharge him as per terms and conditions of vakalatnama.In the case of death client or death of pleader vakalatnama till valid.

(7) what is the difference between vakalatnama and power of attorney?

In the case of Hormusji K. Bhabha vs Nana Appa ((1934) 36 BOMLR 658), the Bombay High Court rightly observed that it is necessary to observe that the relation between a client and his advocate who is engaged to act for him is that of a principal and agent. If any authority is necessary, it would be found in Appa Rao v. Subba Rao (1926) I.L.R. 50 Mad. 249. The document, therefore, creates agency and clearly enables the advocate to act for his client, but does it empower him to act in his name also? I think when an advocate acts for his client, he does all his work in the name of his client in the sense that it is by virtue of his vakalatnama which is an instrument of substitution that he. does all acts in the litigation which otherwise his client would have done himself in his own name, and he carries on the litigation not in his own name but in the name of his client. It is true that his rights and liabilities under the vakalatnama are different from those of a lay agent holding a power-of-attorney on behalf of a litigating party, called a recognized agent, e. g., he can plead and exercise all the rights accorded to an advocate, which a mere recognized agent cannot enjoy. At the same time, he cannot terminate his appointment without the leave of the Court, while a recognized agent can do so without any such leave. But all these considerations do not take a vakalatnama out of the category of a power-of-attorney if it fulfills all the conditions laid down in its definition. The fact that under Order III, Rule 4(1), the appointment of a pleader could be made not only by a party himself but also by a person holding a power-of-attorney from the party to make such appointment does not mean that the pleader’s authority itself does not amount to a power-of-attorney. It only means that a party can authorize a person to do all acts on his behalf in litigation including the appointment of a pleader. That, however, does not imply a contra-distinction between a pleader and a person holding a power-of-attorney. A pleader can derive his authority not only from his client directly but from any person who is specially authorized to make such an appointment.

In the case of Baru Singh (deceased by L.R.) and others vs. Babu Ram Sharm, (AIR 1997 ALL 185), the Allahabad High Court held that to performance of legal work such as giving opinion, sending notices, drafting petitions or other documents signed Vakalatnama need not be obtained by lawyer from his client for such works. But Signed Vakalatnama is required to be obtained when it is filed in law Courts or Tribunals to enable the lawyer to plead cases on behalf of clients.

In the case of Uday Shankar Triyar v. Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh and Anr, (AIR 2006 SC 269), the Supreme Court held that Vakalatnama, a species of Power of Attorney, is an important document, which enables and authorizes the pleader appearing for a litigant to do several acts as an Agent, which are binding on the litigant who is the principal. It is a document that creates a special relationship between the lawyer and the client.

(8) Vakalatnama Format:

                                                      VAKALATNAMA

 

In the …….……………………..………. Court of ………………….at ………………………

                                                                                                  application No.  ______ of 2020

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                          Petitioner/ Appellant

VERSUS

                                                                                                                        Defendant/Respondent

Subject : 

I, the undersigned ……………… in the above subject matter do hereby appoint/nominate/retain,…………………. Advocates to act, appear and plead for me in the above matter and in all proceedings that may be taken in respect of any application connected with the same or any application for Review, to file and obtain a return of documents, to accept the process of the Court and to deposit and receive money on my/our behalf in the said matter and in application to Review and to compromise, settle and/or withdraw or to agree to the withdrawal of the said matter or any proceedings arising therein to represent me/us and to take all necessary steps on my/our behalf in the above matter, to ask another advocate to hold this brief on our behalf, if required and to do all things incidental to such actions for me/us.  I/We agree to ratify all acts done by the aforesaid Advocate in pursuance of this authority. 

Dated this ____ day of ______________ 201                     

Accepted subject to the terms of the fees.

 

Advocate                                       Client                               Client

(9) vakalatnama judgments:

(1) Bijharam Badaldas and Ors. vs. Vithaldas Jethanand and Ors. – AIR 1947 SINDH 4, the Sindh high court held, that Where a Vakalatnama filed by a pleader on behalf of his client merely authorizes him to appear and act in the case, the pleader cannot compromise the case on behalf of his client in the absence of special authority to that effect. Where the Court was misled into recording a compromise in a suit by the statement of the pleader of a party that he was specially authorized to compromise the suit by his client when in fact he was not, the Court can set aside the compromise under S. 151. The mere fact that an appeal lies against the order of the Court recording the compromise does not debar it from acting under S. 151 of CPC.

(2) M/s. Chandra Stores, Ajmer vs. Merchant Association, Ajme –1964 Raj LW 290, the Rajasthan High Court held, that  Though broadly speaking, the appearance of the pleader of a party is equivalent to the appearance of the party himself so long as his vakalatnama is not determined, the Civil P.C. makes a vital distinction between the appearance of the party himself and appearance of counsel on behalf of the party. So far as the party himself is concerned, his mere presence at the hearing is sufficient to constitute ‘appearance’ and it is immaterial whether he appears for a limited purpose or otherwise. The fact that he is present in Court at the time of the hearing would, therefore, be sufficient to take the casa out of the purview of O. 41, R. 17 or alike provision. But where a party appears only through a counsel, the mere presence of the counsel would not amount to an appearance in the legal wise of the word unless he is duly instructed and able to answer all material questions relating to the suit or the appeal.

(3) Official Assignee and another vs. Subhkara – 1973 Raj LW 370, Where the advocates presenting special appeal held valid power of attorneys in the first appeal before the High Court and the power of attorney was couched in a comprehensive manner so as to authorize them to present the special appeal, the appeal cannot be thrown on the technical ground that it was not presented by authorized persons. R.436 dispenses with the filing of fresh vakalatnama by the Advocates once it was established that they had the power to act in the first appeal before the High Court.

(4) Bansilal vs. Jasraj – AIR 1961 Rajsthan 209, A pleader who is not expressly authorized to compromise a suit or to refer it to arbitration or to make an offer u/S.9 of the Oaths Act by the terms of his vakalatnama cannot do so, so as to bind his client.

(5) Chandu Ram and another vs. Kalyan Chand and others – AIR 1961 HIMACHAL PRADESH 38, A council appointed by a next friend or guardian of minor for the suit is competent to seek the permission of the Court to enter into a compromise on behalf of the minors whereby the terms of the vakalatnama executed in his favour the power to enter into compromise is specifically conferred upon him. O. 32, R. 7(1) does not place any such ban on the right of a counsel. There is no provision of law imposing any such restriction.

(6) Pritam Singh vs. Khushi Lal –  AIR 1951 HIMACHAL PRADESH 87, Under O. 3, R. 4 (2), C. P. Code, a vakalatnama filed by an advocate on behalf of the plaintiff in the trial Court will be deemed to have been in force until all proceedings in the suit ended as far as regards the plaintiff. The suit does not come to an end when the Court passes a preliminary decree, and the passing of the final decree is a further proceeding in that very suit: A.I.R. (17) 1930 All 779 and AIR (18) 1931 All 386 (FB), Rel on. Hence an Advocate is competent to file the application for final decree on foot of the vakalatnama which had already been filed in the trial Court.

(7) Moolchand Prop. Firm Lallimal Biharilal and others vs. Ram Babu Vaishy – AIR 1961 MADHYA PRADESH 323, O.3 R.4 of cpc Omission to file a vakalatnama is an irregularity which can be cured.

(10) Reference:

(1)  Hormusji K. Bhabha vs Nana Appa ((1934) 36 BOMLR 658).

(2) Baru Singh (deceased by L.R.) and others vs. Babu Ram Sharm, (AIR 1997 ALL 185).

(3)  Uday Shankar Triyar v. Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh and Anr, (AIR 2006 SC 269).

(4) Bijharam Badaldas and Ors. vs. Vithaldas Jethanand and Ors. – AIR 1947 SINDH 4.

(5) M/s. Chandra Stores, Ajmer vs. Merchant Association, Ajme -1964 Raj LW 290.

(6) Official Assignee and another vs. Subhkara – 1973 Raj LW 370.

(7) Bansilal vs. Jasraj – AIR 1961 Rajsthan 209.

(8) Chandu Ram and another vs. Kalyan Chand and others – AIR 1961 HIMACHAL PRADESH 38.

(9) Pritam Singh vs. Khushi Lal –  AIR 1951 HIMACHAL PRADESH 87.

(10) Moolchand Prop. Firm Lallimal Biharilal and others vs. Ram Babu Vaishy – AIR 1961 MADHYA PRADESH 323.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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