An advocate engaged by a client, can he also act as his power of attorney in the proceedings and verify pleadings? Del HC says no

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., observed that an advocate who is engaged by a client has to play only one role, either of the advocate in the proceedings or the power of attorney holder.

Question for Consideration

Whether Mr Amarjeet Singh Sahni, who was acting as the power of attorney holder of the plaintiff, Mr Amit Ved/Plaintiff/Respondent and had verified the plaint on behalf of the said plaintiff could appear also as a counsel in the matter?

High Court made it clear that the practice of advocates acting as power of attorney holders of their clients, as also as advocates in the matter is contrary to the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961.

Any advocate who is engaged by a client would have to play only one role, i.e., that of the advocate in the proceedings and cannot act as a power of attorney holder and verify pleadings and file applications or any other documents or give evidence on behalf of his client. This aspect has to be scrupulously ensured by all the Trial Courts.

Plaintiff Mr Amit Ved was a resident of Bangkok, Thailand. Mr Sahni claimed to be his power of attorney holder. Mr Sahni verified the plaint and all other pleadings on behalf of Plaintiff. He was also appearing as the counsel for Plaintiff which would be impermissible. However, since in the present case, Mr Sahni assured the Court that he would no longer act as an advocate in the matter, no further observations were being passed in this regard.

Since this Court has perused the original MoU and both Mr Pankaj and Mr Sahni, confirmed that the MoU/Deed of Settlement were executed, the petitions are disposed of as the disputes have been settled.

In view of the above, parties have been directed to appear before the trial court on the date fixed i.e. 28-01-2022 for presenting the settlement and for the recording of the same. [Anil Kumar v. Amit, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 5020, decided on 17-11-2021]

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