A power of attorney is an authority given by one person to another, authorising him to act on his behalf.
According to the Power of Attorney Act 1882, power of attorney ‘includes any instrument empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it’.
Under the Karnataka Stamp Act 1957, power of attorney ‘includes any instrument (not chargeable with fee under the law relating to court fees) empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it’.
The person who is executing the power of attorney is called principal or the executant. The person to whom power is granted is called general power of attorney (GPA) holder or beneficiary.
There are two kinds of powers of attorney:
General power of attorney
A general power of attorney gives wide powers to the agent to do various things on behalf of the principal, as detailed in the deed. It is not confined to any specific act relating to a specific subject.
Specific power of attorney
Specific power of attorney is given for a single specified transaction. Once the particular act is completed, the special power of attorney naturally gets revoked or the power of the holder gets exhausted.
Officials empowered to authenticate documents
Under the Indian Evidence Act these persons are empowered to authenticate the documents:
Any court of judge or magistrate
Representative of the
Any power of attorney executed outside India needs authentication. It has to be executed in the presence of certain designated officers. So, any power of attorney executed outside India should be authenticated by a notary public of that country , the Indian consul, or by a representative of the Central Government. Such documents need to be stamped within three months from the date of receipt in India, to be payable at the district registrar’s office.
The attestation of power of attorney is not compulsory . However, it is advisable to get the document attested by two witnesses.
The registration of the document is not compulsory. When it is to be registered it should be presented at the sub-registrar’s office with jurisdiction over the immovable property referred to in the document.
Notarising a power of attorney is as good as registration . Section 85 of the Indian Evidence Act applies to the documents authenticated by a notary. A court will presume that every document purporting to be a power of attorney, that has been executed before and authenticated by a notary public or any court, is properly executed and is a conclusive proof. Each page of a document notarised should bear the official stamp of the notary disclosing his registration number and jurisdiction , and also his signature. Appropriate notary stamp has to be affixed.
Stamp duty and charges
A power of attorney attracts stamp duty which varies from State to State. Article 41 of the Karnataka Stamp Act prescribes the stamp duty leviable.
Generally, the stamp duty payable for a power of attorney is Rs 100. For registration , the fee payable is also Rs 100. For a general power of attorney given to promoters and developers, the stamp duty applicable is Rs 1000 and registration charges are Rs 100. In case it has been given for consideration , the stamp duty applicable is the same as the stamp duty payable on the sale deed of a property, and is based on the market value of the property.
In case it is in favour of a family member for sale of a property in Karnataka, the stamp duty applicable is Rs 100. If it is in favour of some other person, the stamp duty applicable is as on the sale deed – on the market value of the property plus one percent registration charges.