In this fast progressing time, there are situations where an individual found himself unable to perform certain commercial and legal activities. Many a time, it also, somebody wishes to willingly refrain himself from involving such activities. For mending a situation like this one entered into a principal-agent kind agreement, such agreement termed as Power of Attorney (PoA, hereinafter). Although such an agreement is more than the mere Principal-Agent Agreement. As per Section1A, Power of Attorney Act,1882, states that Power of Attorney includes any instrument empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it1.
For simpler understanding, PoA is a document of agency whereby the principal appoints an agent to do and execute certain acts or deeds on his behalf. The person who forms the power of Attorney is known as the Principal and the person to whom such authority has been granted over the affairs is known as Attorney or Agent.
It is also important to note that PoA establishes a relationship which is in the nature of a principal and an agent. Therefore, the person who has given the PoA is legally bound for the acts of the agent for the purposes which the agent is authorised to act on his behalf.
There might be a situation where the principal is no longer satisfied with the performance of the person whom he appointed to make a decision under the durable power of attorney. For this, he wishes to revoke the Power of Attorney agreement. For completing the revocation process a question must be prompt in the mind of The Principle, whether he needs a lawyer for the revocation of PoA?. Before feeding this question with an answer let’s develop a basic understanding of the procedure of revocation.
Revocation of Power of Attorney:
There is no specific statute/law where the procedure for the revocation for the PoA agreement is explained. In fact the Power of Attorney Act, 1882, itself, silent, over the revocation issue of PoA agreement. Hence some principles have been drawn from the Indian Contract Act,1872 and the various cases decided by the Hon’ble Supreme court and high courts of various have been analysed to determine whether a power of attorney can be revoked or not.2
A PoA agreement can be divided in Revocable PoA and Irrevocable PoA depending upon the clauses of the deed executed.
Revocation of Revocable PoA Agreement:
In General, A PoA agreement can be revoked whenever the principal or donor serves a documented notice to the agent. However, Section 201 of the Indian Contract Act,18723 provides for certain conditions for revocation. These are the following conditions4;
i) By revocation of agents authority
ii) By renunciation of the business of the agency by the agent.
iii) By the death or insanity of either the principal or the agent.
iv) By insolvency of the principal.
Revocation of an Irrevocable PoA.
A power of attorney which is irrevocable in nature can also be revoked with the help of well-settled principles or by the procedure according to law.
The procedure for revoking of power of attorney:
These are following certain steps that need to be adhered to in order to revoke or cancel the PoA Agreement.
An unregistered deed which needs to be drafted with notarized and duly stamped by the relevant authority.
The revocation deed should be intimated to the person who carries the power of Attorney, then such document must mention the circumstances under which it will stand revoked.
A notice of revocation of the PoA should be published in the paper [two Regional, Two Local, Two English newspaper] such that the person to whom the PoA has been served on behalf of the principal is informed about the revocation.
The cancellation deed by the same authority who registered the PoA agreement.
Now, Recall our question which we have left above, whether a lawyer is required for the cancellation of a PoA agreement? After an in-depth analysis of each procedure of revocation, it provides that the principal needs a lawyer only for draft revocation deed. A good documentation lawyer will add an edge in revocation deed. He is well aware of the nitty-gritty of the legal provisions and essential requirements involved in drafting. On another hand, if one wishes to prepare a revocation deed by himself there is no bar on it. But it is advisable to prepare your revocation deed with the good documentation lawyer.
In the end, we find that our country had well-settled law in regard to the Power of attorney (PoA) where the power of attorney is an instrument through which a person can authorise another person to make decisions on behalf of him and if the attorney in the execution of power does anything against the term of PoA agreement, the principal before taking any other action must send a legal notice revocation of power of attorney.
1 The Power of Attorney Act,1882, section 1(A).
2 Revocation of the power of attorney, Revocation (May 31 2020).https://www.vidhikarya.com/legal-blog/REVOCATION-OF-A-POWER-OF-ATTORNEY#
3 Indian contract Act,1872, Section 201
4 R..K Bangia, contract II 168(Allahabad Law Agency,7th ed. 2017 )
This article is authored by Amar Alam, Third-Year, B.A. LL.B, student at Central University of South Bihar.
Also Read- Doctrine of Basic Structure