- The Court was hearing a plea filed by a Notary to quash a charge sheet against her. The Notary was accused of aiding a person to legitimise a forged Power of Attorney deed.
- The Kerala High Court has reiterated that no court shall take cognisance of any offence committed by a notary public in the exercise of his functions except on a written complaint by an officer authorised by the Central Government or a State Government. (VP Jyolsana v. State of Kerala).
- A Bench of Justice MR Anitha was hearing a plea filed by a Notary to quash a charge sheet against her. The Notary was accused of aiding a person to legitimise a forged Power of Attorney deed.
- Justice Anitha observed that Section 13 of the Notaries Act, 1952 bars Courts from taking cognizance of a complaint against a Notary Public except by a complaint in writing by an authorised officer.
- The Judge emphasized that the bar under Section 13 of the Notaries Act is mandatory and necessary to ensure they performed their statutory duties.
- Taking note of the allegations levelled against the Notary, the court further observed that a Notary is not supposed to know each and every person before him notifying a document in his Notarial Register.
- The Notary in this case had approached the High Court contending that the registration of the private complaint against her and the cognizance taken by the Judicial First-Class Magistrate was contrary to Section 13 of the Notaries Act.
- Agreeing with the Notary, the Court stated that the first task before a Court was applying its judicial mind to ascertain whether the charges relate to the Notary’s official functions.
- Adding to this, the Court took note of the fact that a Notary’s function was to notify a document in the Notarial Register. When exercising this function, it was not necessary that the Notary knows that the person before him/her or that s/he could ascertain the genuineness of the document before him.
- Section 8 of the Act specifies the Notary’s task as pertaining to verifying, authenticating, certifying or attesting the execution of any instrument.
- A Notary Public could not possibly know the genuineness of the document or fraud, which would only be revealed after the document was executed, the Court noted.
DO YOU THINK THE NOTARY HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW EACH AND EVERY PERSON BEFORE NOTIFYING HIM A DOCUMENT? MENTION YOUR VIEWS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!