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AoRs Should Make Endorsement That They Are Satisfied About Due Execution Of Vakalatnama Which Was Not Signed In Their Presence : Supreme Court

Ashok KM
17 May 2022 2:37 PM GMT
AoRs Should Make Endorsement That They Are Satisfied About Due Execution Of Vakalatnama Which Was Not Signed In Their Presence : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that Advocates On Record have to comply with the requirements under the Supreme Court Rules 2013 of certifying execution of Vakalatnama.

Justice Abhay S. Oka, in an order passed last week, observed:

-If the Vakalatnama is executed in presence of the Advocate ­on ­Record himself, it is his duty to certify that the execution was made in his presence. If he knows the litigant personally, he can certify the execution. If he does not personally know the litigant, he must verify the identity of the person signing the Vakalatnama from the documents such as Aadhaar or PAN card.

-If the client has not signed the Vakalatnama in his presence, the AOR must ensure that it bears his endorsement as required by clause (b)(ii) of Rule 7 of Supreme Court Rules 2013.

In this case, the Supreme court dismissed a special leave petition filed in the name of one Siya Ram on the ground he did not surrender within the stipulated time. Later, this Siya Ram filed an application alleging that he had not filed any such special leave petition. An inquiry was initiated by the Supreme Court registry in this regard. Before the inquiry officer, AOR (who filed the SLP in the applicant's name) stated that the applicant had met Mr.R, an advocate working with him and that he had not met any of the petitioners. Advocate R claimed that the petitioners had approached him through their local advocate at Allahabad. He stated that all of them visited his office­cum­residence and signed the Vakalatnama in his presence. He stated that the applicant signed the affidavit in support of the Special Leave Petition as he was the first petitioner.

"When Mr.R did not personally know the petitioners and when they were not accompanied by a local advocate or anyone who was known to him, it was his duty to verify the identity of the petitioners who came to his office on the basis of the documents such as Adhaar card or PAN card.", the judge noted.

The court noted the clauses (b) of Rule 7 under Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013:

(i) Where the vakalatnama is executed in the presence of the Advocate­ on­ Record, he shall certify that it was executed in his presence.

(ii) Where the Advocate­ on­ Record merely accepts the vakalatnama which is already duly executed in the presence of a Notary or an advocate, he shall make an endorsement thereon that he has satisfied himself about the due execution of the vakalatnama.

The court observed that it was the duty of the AoR to make an endorsement on the Vakalatnama that he has satisfied himself about the due execution of the Vakalatnama.

"Thus, if the Vakalatnama is executed in presence of the Advocate­ on­ Record himself, it is his duty to certify that the execution was made in his presence. This certification is not an empty formality. If he knows the litigant personally, he can certify the execution. If he does not personally know the litigant, he must verify the identity of the person signing the Vakalatnama from the documents such as Aadhaar or PAN card. If the client has not signed the Vakalatnama in his presence, the AOR must ensure that it bears his endorsement as required by clause (b)(ii) of Rule 7. Compliance with Clause (b)(ii) of Rule 7 of the said Rules is very important. It is not an empty formality and therefore, it is the duty of AORs to ensure that due compliance is made with the said requirement. Though we find that in many cases, hypertechnical objections are being raised by the Registry, non­compliance with 9 clause (b)(ii) of Rule 7 is being completely overlooked. The Vakalatnama of the applicant, in this case, did not bear certification as required by sub­clauses (i) or (ii) of clause (b) of Rule 7 of the said Rules.", the court said.

The court therefore accepted the contention raised by the applicant that he did not sign the Vakalatnama in the Special Leave Petition and that he did not sign the affidavit in support thereof.

It will be advisable if the Registry issues a Circular inviting the attention of the Advocates­ on ­Record to this order as well as to the requirement of making compliance with clause (b) of Rule 7 of Order IV of the said Rules, the judge said while disposing the application.

Case details

Suresh Chandra vs State of Uttar Pradesh | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 490 | MA 1242 OF 2021 | 13 May 2022

Coram: Justice Abhay S. Oka

Headnotes

Supreme Court Rules, 2013 ; Order IV Rule 7(b)(ii) - If the client has not signed the Vakalatnama in his presence, the AOR must ensure that it bears his endorsement as required by clause (b)(ii) of Rule 7- It is not an empty formality and therefore, it is the duty of AORs to ensure that due compliance is made with the said requirement. (Para 14)

Supreme Court Rules, 2013 ; Order IV Rule 7(b)(i) - If the Vakalatnama is executed in presence of the Advocate­ on­ Record himself, it is his duty to certify that the execution was made in his presence. This certification is not an empty formality. If he knows the litigant personally, he can certify the execution. If he does not personally know the litigant, he must verify the identity of the person signing the Vakalatnama from the documents such as Aadhaar or PAN card. (Para 14)




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