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How to Cancel a Power of Attorney in India?

Discover the step-by-step process for cancelling a Power of Attorney in India. From legal requirements to documentation, gain insights for a seamless revocation.

What Is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

Power of Attorney (POA) is a way in which an individual can authorise someone else to decide on their behalf on some issues. It establishes a relationship between a principal and an agent, and the person who has given the POA is legally bound for the agent’s acts for the purposes for which the agent is authorised to act on his behalf. 

The Power of Attorney Act, 1882, defines POA as ‘any instrument empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it’. The act refers to the agent as the attorney-in-fact.

The need to have a POA often arises in a world where there is an increase in legal issues that are commercial and complicated. In such situations, you must authorize the POA to another person, allowing them to act on their behalf. A common example is when a client gives the POA to his lawyer to act on his behalf in a property transaction. The Lawyers can help you with all the details to Make a Power of Attorney Online.

What Are the Types of Power of Attorneys?

Broadly, there are two types of POA:

  1. General POA: A General Power Of Attorney sanctions the agent-in-fact to deal with an issue altogether.
  2. Specific POA: Situations in which the POA sanctions the agent-in-fact to deal with a particular aspect of a subject matter are called specific PoA. In cases of specific POA, the attorney can only act under the realm of the powers that the principal grants him.

Laws Governing POA Revocation in India

In India, the revocation of a Power of Attorney (POA) is governed by specific legal provisions outlined in the Power of Attorney Act. To initiate the revocation process, the principal (the person granting the power) must adhere to the formalities set by the law. Typically, a revocation must be executed in writing and signed by the principal. The document should clearly express the intention to revoke the previously granted authority. It is crucial to notify the attorney-in-fact (the person receiving the power) about the revocation, and in some cases, the revocation may need to be registered with the relevant authorities. Legal guidance is often recommended to ensure compliance with the procedural aspects of POA revocation.

Legal Consequences of Revocation

Revoking a Power of Attorney can have legal consequences, impacting the rights and obligations of both the principal and the attorney-in-fact. The revocation document should be unambiguous to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes. The principal may need to communicate the revocation to relevant third parties who were relying on the existing POA. Additionally, if the Power of Attorney was part of a broader legal transaction, the revocation might affect the validity of that transaction. Understanding these potential consequences is crucial, and legal counsel can provide valuable insights into mitigating risks associated with POA revocation.

What Are the Situations Under Which You Revoke the Power of Attorney?

There are many situations through which the principal-agent relationship between the attorney and the authoriser ceases to exist. There is no explicit law governing the same. Hence from the Indian Contract Act, 1872: various courts in India, the following ways of revoking a POA have been interpreted.

By the Acts of the Principal

In certain situations, the principal might want to end the POA and the Principal-Agent relationship. Some of those situations are as mentioned below:

  • By the expression of revocation of authority, by his On their own will.
  • At the end of the purpose for Preparation of POA.
  • If the agent authorised becomes of insolvent or unsound mind.
  • When the agent becomes insolvent or of an unsound mind.

 Breach of Contract

There could be situations where the agent causes gross mismanagement, breaches the terms of the contract, or acts beyond the realm of their scope of powers. Even an irrevocable POA can be revoked in such situations by issuing a revocation notice. The principal can even approach the court of appropriate jurisdiction to revoke such an irrevocable POA.

Circumstances Where the Power of Attorney Cannot be Revoked

While the Power of Attorney generally provides the principal with the authority to revoke it at will, there are certain circumstances where revocation may face legal constraints. For instance, if the POA is coupled with an interest or if it is created as part of a contract, the principal might have limited revocation rights. Additionally, if a third party’s rights are affected by the Power of Attorney, revocation might be subject to restrictions. Understanding these limitations is crucial for individuals seeking to revoke a POA, and legal advice can help navigate these complexities effectively.

What Is the Process of Cancellation of Power of Attorney?

The donor of a power of attorney will have to get a registered cancellation deed (registered from the office of the respective sub-registrar). After that, the principal has to give the holder of a power of attorney the registered cancellation deed, informing them of the cancellation

A brief step-by-step procedure to cancel or revoke a POA is mentioned below:

  • If you are the principal, you must firstly draft a deed or notice of Revocation of the POA. You must mention the reason, the date, and the consequences of the revocation of the POA in the deed.
  • The next step is to publish the deed or notice of revocation of the POA in a local or national newspaper. The aim is to inform the people with whom the POA has been interacting on behalf of the authorising person about the revocation.
  • The Cancellation deed will have to be registered by the same authority that registered the POA.
  • A copy of the deed or notice has to be sent to the agent to inform them about the revocation.
  • Copies of the cancelled revocation deed can also be sent to persons with whom the POA agent has been interacting on behalf of the principal so that they cease any business dealings with the agent.

In case of death of the principal or agent, insanity or insolvency, or any other such cases, the POA automatically gets revoked or cancelled.

How NRIs Can Revoke a Power of Attorney?

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) face unique challenges when revoking a Power of Attorney in India. Distance and jurisdictional issues can complicate the process. NRIs can typically follow similar revocation procedures as residents, involving a written document expressing the intent to revoke. However, ensuring proper communication and compliance with the specific legal requirements, possibly including the legalization of documents if executed abroad, is essential. Seeking legal assistance is advisable to streamline the revocation process for NRIs and ensure adherence to Indian legal standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an Irrevocable POA be Revoked?

Generally, irrevocable Power of Attorney (POA) implies a commitment not to revoke. However, in certain circumstances, legal action or mutual agreement might allow revocation. Consultation with legal professionals is crucial to understand options within the specific legal context.

Is Public Notice Necessary for Revocation?

Public notice is not a mandatory requirement for POA revocation. Revocation usually involves written communication between the principal and the attorney-in-fact. However, in complex situations or if third parties are involved, legal advice may be sought to determine the necessity of public notice.

Can a POA be Partially Revoked?

Yes, a Power of Attorney can be partially revoked. This allows the principal to modify or limit specific powers granted without completely nullifying the entire POA. Clear documentation and communication are essential to ensure all parties involved are aware of the changes. Legal guidance can aid in navigating the complexities of partial revocation.

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