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Report No. 68

Rules of agency not dealt with

2.3. Several matters concerning agency are dealt with, not in the Powers of Attorney Act, but in the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (sections relating to agency). Important amongst these are-

(a) who may execute a power;

(b) who may become an attorney;

(c) when is a power terminated; and

(d) whether a power coupled with interest is revocable.

The reason, obviously, is that these matters would be governed by the general principles of the law of agency1. A power of attorney is an authority in writing to another person to act for and in the name of the person who executed the power2. Therefore, speaking generally, the law relating to authority, that is, agency, would be attracted when a power of of attorney is executed. Halsbury3 explains the matters thus-

"An agent who to execute a deed, as for example, a conveyance or deed of partnership must be appointed by deed. Such an authority is called a power of attorney."

The definition given in the Stamp Act is less elaborate, but may be regarded as adequate as a statutory definition4. The real emphasis in the concept of power of attorney is on the authority to use the name of the principal. That is sufficiently brought out in the definition in the Stamp Act.

Recommendation to adopt a definition

1. Cf. Halsbury, 3rd Edn., Vol. 1, page 153, para 365, relating to Powers of Attorney, which deals with the subject under "Agency-Formation of Agency-Appointment by deed."

2. Cf. Chapter 2, supra.

3. Halsbury, 3rd Edn , Vol. 1, page 153, para 365.

4. Supra, Para 2.2.

2.4. We recommend that a suitable definition on that line may be inserted1. For the purpose of the present Act, however, it is unnecessary to exclude documents requiring court fees. Such documents were excluded in the definition in the Stamp Act, merely to avoid double stamp under the Court Fees Act and under the Stamp Act2.

1. See Appendix 1 for tentative draft.

2. See Ramdeo v. Lalu Nath I.L.R. (1937) Nag. 494, 496: A.I.R. 1937 Nag, 65, 66 (Stone, CI.).

The Powers of Attorney Act, 1882 Back

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