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What is vakalatnama?

 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 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.

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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


What are the contents 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

Consult: Top Civil Lawyers in India


What are the terms under a 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 the validity of 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

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How to cancel a Vakalatnama?

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.


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