Vakalatnama- Content, Terms, Validity, Format, How To Cancel
Vakalatnama- Content, Terms, Validity, Format, How To Cancel

 

We live in a society where the high and mighty derives pleasure intimidating or oppression the less privileged. In India, the trend is rampant since the lower class does not know their rights as enshrined in the constitution. What’s more? If your right is breached or you feel you have been cheated on, obviously the only place to get justice is the Law Court. For you to file any case in a court, you must issue a Vakalatnama for a lawyer to represent you in court. The reason is that lawyers possess the knowledge of the law and technical procedures.

In light of this, we will take a look at the concept of Vakalatnama and how to file a lawsuit in a court.

 

WHAT IS A VAKALATNAMA?

Vakalatnama is a written document submitted before a court by a lawyer/solicitor/advocate/counsel declaring that his clients have authorized him to represent them in a legal dispute. Vakalatnama is also referred to as ‘Vakil Patra’ with the abbreviation ‘VP’.

Historically, the phrase, ‘Vakalatnama’ had its origin from the notable Urdu language. In Urdu language, Vakalatnama means the power of an attorney. But by a court’s interpret the phrase ‘Vakalatnama means a written document authorizing an advocate with a wide range of legal power. On the other hand, The Power Of Attorney Act, 1882, Section 1A clearly defined the power of attorney as a legal document authorizing any person to represent or act on behalf of the person executing it.

Furthermore, the phrase Vakalatnama does not have a definition in either the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 or the Power of Attorney Act, 1882. For the records, the definition of Vakalatnama was found in a book titled ‘Advanced Law Lexicon’ written by author P Ramanatha Aiyar. The author in his wisdom described Vakalatnama as a Memorandum of appearance which empowers a lawyer to plead before any authority/court/tribunal.

Several details such as Court name, number of cases, number of the courtroom, the names of the parties, the signature of the Advocate or Client, advocate enrolment number, and office address, among others, are contained in a Vakalatnama.

 

WHO CAN AUTHORIZE A VAKALATNAMA?

The following can authorize a Vakalatnama:

  • An aggrieved person can authorize a Vakalatnama
  • Anybody holding the Power Of Attorney for the aggrieved person
  • Anybody representing the aggrieved person in business or trade in that jurisdiction.
  • A Vakalatnama can also be authorized by a joint party in a case in order to appoint either a set of advocates or the same advocate

 

CONTENT OF A VAKALATNAMA-

A good Vakalatnama should contain the following:

  • The date the Vakalatnama would be executed
  • The name of the case/cases which the advocate is being appointed
  • The name of the court/courts which the advocate is being appointed
  • The name of the person authorizing the Advocate/advocates
  • If the Vakalatnama is not executed by the issuer in person, then a written document should support the appointment of the advocate
  • The advocate’s address so appointed
  • The power is given to the lawyer
  • Signatures of the parties
  • Advocate’s signature accepting the Vakalatnama

 

TERMS OF VAKALATNAMA-

The following terms are applicable in a Vakalatnama:

  • Regardless of a lawyer’s decision, a client shall not hold him/her responsible
  • All the legal costs involved in the case shall be borne by the client
  • The lawyer has a right to keep the documents until all the agreed fees are paid
  • At any stage of the legal tussle, the client is at liberty to disengage the lawyer
  • The lawyer has the right to take any decision he/she deems fit during the hearing of the case
  • A Vakalatnama is attached at the last page of a suit/plaint and it is stored alongside the court records
  • A Vakalatnama does not require a fee. However, currently, the rules of the Delhi High Court requires that applicants should pay INR. 10 on what is termed “Advocate Welfare Stamp” which should be attached on the Vakalatnama.
  • The court fee payment should be attached. The value of the court fees is usually a percentage of the claim’s value of the suit. Also, the amount is clearly mentioned in the Court Fees Stamp Act.

 

HOW LONG DOES A VAKALATNAMA LAST?

A Vakalatnama is valid until:

  • The death of the client; or
  • The death of the lawyer; or
  • The client withdraws it; or
  • A court gives approval for the lawyer to withdraw it
  • The conclusion of the court case

 

HOW TO CANCEL A VAKALATNAMA AND APPOINT A NEW ADVOCATE

There are situations whereby you no longer have confidence in your advocate and you wish to cancel the Vakalatnama in order to appoint a new advocate to keep representing you in legal disputes. Please note that it is dangerous to appoint a new advocate without canceling the exiting Vakalatnama because your previous advocate can take decisions which you will be liable for.

 

In view of the above, this section will explain how to cancel an active Vakalatnama.

  • You will write a letter/email to the previous advocate mentioning that you wish to cancel the Vakalatnama
  • Ensure the letter/email is delivered to the advocate and he/she acknowledges receipt of the letter or email
  • The Vakalatnama becomes invalid once the advocate acknowledges receipt of the letter or email
  • You will also send a copy of the same letter to your new advocate
  • You will inform the court by filing a copy of the same letter for proper documentation
  • The copy of the letter must bear your original signature
  • Then, you will issue another Vakalatnama authorizing your new advocate to represent you in court
  • The new Vakalatnama should also be filed in court for records

 

VAKALATNAMA FORMAT

 

…………………. No. …………………. of 20……..

 

 

VAKALATNAMA

 

                                           IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL/CIVIL/APPELLATE/ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

 

Before the Honourable ………………………………………………..

 

Between ……………………………………………………Petitioner / Applicant / Appellant / Plaintiff

 

Vs.

 

And ……………………………………………Respondent / Non-applicant / Defendant

 

I/we…………………………………………… …………………………………………………………… ……….. …………………………………………………….. do hereby appoint & retain Advocate …………….. and Advocate……………. (hereinafter called as “the Advocates”) to be my / our advocates in the said Suit /Appeal / Petition / Case /Reference / Revision / Execution.

 

I/we authorize the Advocates to do any or all of the following on my / our behalf:

  1. a) To represent, act and appear for me/us;
  2. b) To conduct and prosecute (or defend) the same and all proceedings that may be taken in respect of any application connected with the same or any decree or order passed therein;
  3. c) to sign, file, verify, present, and receive all types of documents including plaints, statements, pleadings, appeals, cross objections, petitions, applications, revision, withdrawal, compromise or affidavits;
  4. d) To withdraw or compromise or submit to arbitration any differences or disputes that may arise touching or in any manner relating to the said case;
  5. e) To deposit, draw and receive money, cheques, cash and grant receipts thereof;
  6. f) To do all other acts and things which may be necessary or expedient, in the opinion of the Advocates, to be done?

I/We do hereby agree to ratify and confirm all acts done by the Advocate or his substitute in the matter as my/our own acts as if done by me/us to all intents and purposes.

 

…………………………………………………

Signatures of Persons Appointing the Advocates

 

Advocate Name          Enrollment No.       Mobile No.         Signature of Advocate

Advocate 1

Advocate 2

 

Date ………………………………….

Place …………………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

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