What is Vakalatnama?
A Vakalatnama is a document in writing, appointing a lawyer or pleader to represent the clients matter in a court of law.
Vakalatnama is a Legal document or decree which is given by a client to an advocate to look and or plead before any court of law on behalf of him. There is no particular definition of Vakalatnama within the Civil Procedure code 1908. It is also called a memo of appearance, Vakil Patra.
R 4.(1) No pleader Shall act for any person in any Court unless he has been appointed for the purpose by such person by a document in writing signed by such person or by his recognized agent or by some other person duly authorized by or under a power-of-attorney to make such appointment.
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 “Vakalamama 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.
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.
What is the meaning of VP or VP Filed in the Court proceedings and Roznama?
VP means Vakil Patra, which is another name for Vakalatnama. Most courts use the term VP Filed in their Roznama or online records, to indicate that the Vakalatnama was filed. Sometimes even “SV filed” is mentioned in the Roznama. SV means: Signed 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
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
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
Does a Vakalatnama need to be stamped?
Yes. According to Section 27 in THE ADVOCATES’ WELFARE FUND ACT, 2001.
27. Vakalatnama to bear stamps.—
(1) Every advocate shall affix stamp of a value of—
(a) five rupees on every Vakalatnama filed by him in a District Court or a court subordinate to the District Court; (b) ten rupees on every Vakalatnama filed by him in a tribunal or other authority or a High Court or the Supreme Court: Provided that the appropriate Government may prescribe the value of the stamps not exceeding twenty-five rupees to be affixed under this sub-section:
Provided further that the appropriate Government may prescribe different value of the stamps to be affixed on every Vakalatnama to be filed in a District Court, or a court subordinate to the District Court or a tribunal or other authority or a High Court or the Supreme Court.
(2) The value of the stamp shall neither be the cost in a case nor be collected in any event from the client.
(3) Any contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) by any advocate shall disentitle him either in whole or in part to the benefits of the Fund and the Trustee Committee shall report such contravention to the State Bar Council for appropriate action.
(4) Every stamp affixed on every Vakalatnama filed before a District Court or a court subordinate to the District Court or a tribunal or other authority or a High Court or the Supreme Court shall be cancelled in such manner as may be prescribed.