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ramesh (software engineer)     16 February 2014

Are vakalatnama and power of attorney the same?- nri divorce

I am a NRI living in US who want to contest the divorce case that my wife filed against me in India. The court hearing is in couple of weeks. I cannot travel to India for next few months because of prior commitments but my lawyer says I must be present for the first hearing to sign the Vakalatnama, only then he can represent me in the court. So some of my questions are

 

1. What is Vakalatnama? Does it mean power of attorney?

 

2. As I am unable to travel what are my options? Can I have my lawyer fax/scan it to me and return the signed copy via fax/scan or is it mandatory for me to be present there in person?

 

3. If I sign the scanned/faxed copy of the Vakalatnama should that be notarized in USA?or Can I just send a signed notarized document from USA stating my lawyer as the power of attorney?

 

4. Can the lawyer appear in the court first time without Vakalatnama to let the judge know we will be contesting and request that the Vakalatnama be produced at a later date?

 

5. Can I give the power of attorney to my dad who is in India and have him sign the Vakalatnama on my behalf and follow the court proceedings?

 

I do not want this to go to ex-parte but I could not travel any time soon. Please share your inputs.

 

Thank you.



Learning

 11 Replies

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     16 February 2014

Dear Ramesh ji,

Answer to your query is as under:

What is Vakalatnama? Does it mean power of attorney? Yes, it is a Special Power of Attorney for specific purpose, get it notarised in US embassy.and then it would be required to be attested by area SDM (in India) where it is to be used.

 

2. As I am unable to travel what are my options? It is your explaination and not a query.

Can I have my lawyer fax/scan it to me and return the signed copy via fax/scan, Yes it can be scanned/faxed and sent.

or is it mandatory for me to be present there in person? Not mandatory

 

3. If I sign the scanned/faxed copy of the Vakalatnama should that be notarized in USA?or Can I just send a signed notarized document from USA stating my lawyer as the power of attorney? See reply to Q 1 above.

 

4. Can the lawyer appear in the court first time without Vakalatnama to let the judge know we will be contesting and request that the Vakalatnama be produced at a later date? On filing Memorendum of appearnace a lawyer can appear once.

 

5. Can I give the power of attorney to my dad who is in India and have him sign the Vakalatnama on my behalf and follow the court proceedings? Yes, you can.

1 Like

ramesh (software engineer)     16 February 2014

Dear Dr. J.C. Vashista,

Thanks a lot for your responses. A quick question based on your answer for my query 1.

You mentioned the power of attorney has to be notarized at US embassy. Did you mean Indian embassy?Is it mandatory it has to be done in Indian embassy?

The reason I am asking this is, the city where I live there is no Indian embassy/consulate. For the nearest consulate i'll have to take a 3 hr flight and for the nearest embassy a 6 hr flight (both one way). So just wondering if the document can be notarized in front of notary public or an attorney in the city where I live in USA. Please share your inputs.

Regarding SDM attestation, I believe my lawyer can do that without my presence is my understanding. Please correct me if i am wrong.

Thank you again.

Yadanand Legal help (maintenance divorce remarriage = yourscrew@gmail.com)     16 February 2014

First of all whether legal  / official notice of the court is received by you.. How it was served to you.

 

Before going to all these lengthy procedure of POA and all that first the matter can be contested on various prelim issues.

 

Ask video lecture on tactics of fight on lines OF  galioth and david.

ramesh (software engineer)     16 February 2014

@Yadanand Legal Help,

That was good question as how the court notice was served. 

I live in USA and my wife very well knows my address in USA as she lived with me here for several months. However,  the court issued a summon that was addressed to me but was sent to my parent's place in India. In the absence of my parents it was received by my uncle who was a neighbour. None of us were expecting a court notice in the first place .Unfortunately my uncle opened the summon without knowing it and that is how it was served. I personally did not receive anything at my US address.
 
Does not the court summon be sent to my address in USA and not in India was the question I had in my mind . When I had my friends/parents talk to some lawyers they had varied opinions most of them stating that once the summon is received irrespective of whom it is addressed the court will consider that has been served and any further arguements will be futile, so I did not proceed further.
 
Please share your  thoughts as of what can be done in this scenario.
 
Thank you.
 

Udaya Shankar. C (Retired)     16 February 2014

Ask your lawyer to send you scanned vakalat form. Which you can sign and get it attested by a attorney(called in US)/notary and again scan the same to your lawyer followed by sending  the hard copy by courier. Please ask two witnesses to sign the vakalat having signed by you in their presence.

This is perfectly valid as per law.

1 Like

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     17 February 2014

Get it notarized and send it.

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     17 February 2014

Mr. Uday Shankar has given some valuable guidelines on the issue.  Now the summon is served(as you accepted), so you have decided to contest the case (?), For the first time, as rightly suggested by Dr. Vashista, your lawyer can appear and file a memorandum undertaking to file vakalat on your behalf on a later date.  Subsequently to file your vakalat, the procedure to be followed has been explained above.  Therefore get your vakalat (scanned copy) duly notarized by an attorney/notary in US,send it across.  You can even authorise your father through a POA to conduct your case through your advocate, but POA procedure is more difficult, instead on your arrival next time to India, you can make a POA deed in your father's name and authorise him to conduct your case on your behalf.

1 Like

ramesh (software engineer)     17 February 2014

Thanks a lot Mr. Udaya Shankar, Dr. J.C. Vashista and Mr. Kalaiselvan for sharing the information.

@ Kalaiselvan sir, Yes I have decided to contest.

Thanks

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     17 February 2014

Thanks for your appreciation and let me wish you success in your efforts as well a successful outcome of the case as per your desire.

krishna   26 January 2015

hello sir

can we get Vakalatnama notaried with a Public Notary / a Bank where we hold an account to fight for 498a cases in India ?

or should we get it notaried by some criminal lawyer in usa  ?

Dr. Shekhar (Phd)     04 September 2015

Sir, can the vakalatnama be given for only one hearing to an advocate where advocate appointed only for one hearing. If so where to mention and what to mention inthe Vakalatnama disclosing this fact?


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