Epic Guide to Power of Attorney in Pakistan: (How to Make and Execute)

Ultimate Guide to Power of Attorney in Pakistan (Mukhtar Nama)

In today’s blog post, you will discover about the Power of Attorney (POA) and everything you need to know about it.
If you want to know:

  • What is a Power of Attorney?
  • Kinds of power of attorney?
  • What is a General Power of Attorney?
  • What is a Special Power of Attorney?
  • What is a Legal Power of Attorney?
  • Legal terms used for Power of Attorney
  • How can an overseas Pakistani sell his property through power of attorney in Pakistan while living abroad?
  • How does a Pakistani sell his property through POA in Pakistan being in Pakistan?

You will love this ultimate post.
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IN THIS POST:

What is Power of Attorney?

power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or other legal matters.

The person authorizing the other to act out is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power). The one authorized to act out is the agent, attorney, or in some jurisdictions, the attorney-in-fact.   

Sources: Wikipedia: Power of Attorney

The POA (aka Mukhtar Nama) is used by the litigant (donor/executive/principal) to authorize an individual (donee/agent) to represent them in legal proceedings.

The POA can also be used provided the litigant is an overseas Pakistani. And has to send a representative in their place in their home country. 

Power of Attorney (Act 1882)

Here is the Power of Attorney Act 1882 as under:

“The donee [Executant] of a power-of-attorney may, if they think fit, execute or do any assurance, instrument or thing in and with his name and signature, and his seal, where sealing is required, by the authority of the donor of the power; and every assurance, instrument, and thing so executed and done, shall be as effectual in law as if it had been executed or done by the donee of the power in the name, and with the signature and seal, of the donor thereof.”

Types of POA in Pakistan

There are two kinds of POA: 

  • General POA (Mukhtar Nama)
  • Special POA (Mukhtar Nama Khas)
  • Legal POA (Vakalat Nama)

General Power of Attorney (GPA)

GPA (aka Mukhtar Nama Aam) might perform more than one job on behalf of the Principal. All his acts will be binding on the Principal as done by him and under his authority.

Special POA

A Special POA (aka Mukhtar Nama Khas) is for a specific purpose which is explained in the deed of Special Power of Attorney.

Legal POA

The Legal POA, known as Vakalat Nama in the local language, is a document submitted by a person’s lawyer in court to inform that they will be representing the person in a particular case.

In contrast to the general power of attorney, a special power of attorney authorises an agent with limited legal authority.

It is a specific or limited type of letter of attorney which allows an attorney-in-fact to make decisions on behalf of the principal in a specific situation only. 

Here are a few situations in which a special letter of attorney is normally used:

  • To authorise a family member to take care of your property, you are away.
  • To authorise someone to maintain/sell your possessions, you are not around.

The best part: The POA either General or Special given by the Principal to the Attorney must be in writing and it cannot be given orally. 

If a POA pertains to any immovable property, sale, or mortgage, it must be registered under section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908.

How to attest POA

To ensure their validity, a Notary Public, any Court, Judge, Magistrate, Pakistan Consulate or Vice-Consulate, or a representative appointed by the Federal Government must authenticate all documents written as a POA. Once the POA is authenticated, the documents will be presumed correct.

Essential Requirements: 

Every Pakistani citizen who is a major, adult and according to law is competent to enter into a contract whether resides in Pakistan or outside Pakistan (Overseas Pakistani means living abroad) may authorize any other person through power of attorney to act on his behalf. 

The authorized officer of Pakistan’s embassy or consulate verifies the POA provided a power of attorney made outside the country.

If a POA relates to the transfer of property. The Registrar Revenue Department registers a POA.

Legal Terms of POA : (You should Know them)

Here are some legal terms related to the power of attorney that you should know:

Principal/Donor/Grantor 

Someone who grants limited or broad legal authority to another person to make decisions or act on his behalf.

Agent/Attorney-in-Fact 

A person who has the power to act out for another person (the principal) according to a specific power of attorney.

As stated above, an agent or Attorney-in-fact either possesses the limited or broad legal authority to make decisions regarding the principal’s possessions, finances and other legal matters.

Uses of POA in Civil Cases: 

Below are civil cases that can be pursued through POA i.e. 

  • to appear in court; 
  • to move the application; and 
  • to proceed in the matter. 

In civil cases, the Attorney can do every act on behalf of the Principal. Service of summons/notices of the court on the Attorney will be presumed to be served on the Principal. 

For all these matters, no court will allow the Attorney to act on behalf of the Principal unless the POA is there. 

What are the Civil and Criminal liabilities of the Principal and Attorney

Here is the civil liability of a principal:

If in the performance of acts according to the POA, the third party suffers a loss then the Principal will be responsible subject to authorizing for the same act in the POA.

Here is the Civil liability of an Attorney:

In case of any action for which he is not authorized, he will be responsible for the losses to the third party based on such actions.

What is the Criminal liability of the Principal and Attorney: 

Criminal liability of Principal: under normal circumstances, the Principal will not be responsible for the criminal acts of the Attorney. 

Criminal responsibility of the Attorney

If the Attorney is found guilty of breach of trust, authorities can proceed against him under sections 406 and 409 of the Pakistan Penal Code and impose punishment.

Cancellation of POA 

To cancel the POA, the Principal can cancel the POA at any time, General or Special.

Moreover, if an Attorney (aka principal) dies, the POA cancels automatically.

In the first instance, the Registrar where the POA is registered will cancel it and will also publish it in a newspaper.

As soon as the assigned job/task is completed the POA cancels.

A notary public should witness the revocation in the form of a written document.

After that, the authorized agent and third parties (such as banks, legal agencies, etc.) receive and process it.

A notary public attests and verifies POA.

In Fact: Pakistan’s government appoints notaries to the public to witness the attestation and verification of important legal documents to prevent fraud.

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