Power of Attorney (POA) - India
Power of Attorney (POA) - India | Sending POA to India from abroad by NRI
A Power of Attorney, especially, when concerning real estate transactions, is an important document. Powers of Attorney may relate to large monetary dealings sometimes and extreme care and thought should go into preparing a power of attorney document.
Here is some information that may help:
What is a Power of Attorney?
o When you give someone Power of Attorney, you are granting an authority to someone else to act on your behalf and undertake acts, deeds and things that you specify in the Power of Attorney document.
Types of Powers of Attorney
o There are several types of Powers of Attorney. Such as: General Power of Attorney and Special Powers of Attorney.
General Powers of Attorney:
o A General Power of Attorney gives substantial powers for completing the transactions expected.
Special Power of Attorney
o Is a given for specific purposes only. These are defined in the document.
Valid Power of Attorney ingredients
o The person giving and the person receiving the Power of Attorney must be competent. Minors and other persons disqualified by law cannot grant a Power of Attorney.
o POA should be given for legal purposes.
o POA must be duly stamped, notarized or registered or adjudicated, as the case may be.
o Powers of Attorney executed abroad have to be certified by an Indian Consulate Officer.
o Registration of POA is compulsory in cases of ‘Special Power of Attorney’ that authorizes the holder of the Power of Attorney to present for registration, a document executed by the person giving the POA.
o Powers of Attorney given abroad have to be authenticated by an Indian Consulate official or a Notary. It should be stamped or adjudicated, within three months after receipt in India.
Tips - Some precautions to be taken while granting a power
• If at all possible, NEVER give a General Power of Attorney. Give only Special Power of Attorney and clearly state what the person who is getting the POA can do or undertake on your behalf.
• Check the wordings of the Power of Attorney document carefully and understand the consequences.
• Give POA only to someone who is honestly willing and able to perform the mentioned services for you.
• Remember, power of attorney cannot be given to someone to commit an illegal act.
Sending Power of Attorney to India from a foreign country.
A properly prepared power of attorney that has been notarized abroad should be accepted in all countries who are signatories of the Hague Convention. However, even though India is one of the signatories, getting attestation done from the Indian Consulate/Embassy seems to carry more weight in India. Hence NRIs when sending POA to India should get the document attested at the Indian consulate in their area of residence.
Sale of property with Power of Attorney
NRIs sending power of attorney to India from abroad for matters that concern immovable property located in India should send power of attorney in favor of their spouse or a blood relative such as parents, children, brother, sister etc.
How to get POA attested at Indian consulate/embassy
The procedure is fairly simple and somewhat standard at most Indian consulates worldwide. Generally the steps involved are:
• Power of Attorney document prepared abroad for the purpose of sending POA to India does not require a Indian Stamp paper. A plain piece of paper can be used to write down the POA terms and conditions. The terms and conditions should list out all powers you want to share with the POA holder. List whatever you want the POA holder to do on your behalf. Two copies will be required. Do NOT sign the POA document as this must be done in front of a Consular officer at time of attestation.
• Two witness signatures are required on the POA document.
o You have a choice of either taking the two witnesses with you to the consulate or
o Getting them to sign the POA and get their signatures notarized. In the event you are unable to take the witnesses to the Indian consulate
o If witnesses are going to the consulate, they should NOT sign the POA as the signing will be done at the consulate.
Documents required for Indian Consulate Attestation of POA
Here are some of the documents that may be required. Original documents should be taken along with copies. Call consulate to confirm what documents they require to avoid surprises as rules may change at any time:
•POA prepared document along with copies
•Original Passport + Copies of all non-blank pages including first and last page.
•Copy of Address proof in the country of your residence. For example: A bank statement, driving license, utility bill etc.
•Proof of legal status in country of residence, such as visa etc.
•Two passport size photographs•Applicable fee at time of attestation.
•Witnesses if going to consulate should also take their proof of identity documents. They will be required when they sign POA at consulate to confirm their identity.
Registration of Power of Attorney in India
NRIs should note that it is NOW mandatory to have the POA registered specifically for property matters. In fact it is prudent to get all POA documents sent to India or even if executed in India to be registered at the sub-registrar office. Courts in India generally give weight only to registered documents. In case of a dispute unregistered documents may not get a favorable ruling from courts.
How to Register POA in India
Power of Attorney registration, or the registration of any other document such as a rental agreement such as a leave & license document in India is done at the offices of the Sub-Registrar. The registration process in India involves:
•Visiting the sub-registrar office with the document to be registered. Power of Attorney prepared in India is done on stamp paper whereas if prepared abroad no stamp paper is required. NRIs who are not present in India should get the POA holder to get the registration done.
•Original documents with copies showing proof of address and proof of identity. [Self-attestation of documents is allowed these days in most cases.]
•Two passport size photographs [Sub- Registrar will take your photo also at time of registration along with thumb print]
•Two witnesses who should also have proper identification
Registration If NOT in India
•NRIs sending Power of Attorney (POA) to India from a foreign country need to get the POA attested by an officer of the Indian Consulate/Embassy in their area of residence as mentioned above.
•Send POA document to India for registration. The POA holder will need to provide his identity and address proof along with the witness at the sub-registrar office.
How to cancel registered power of attorney that is registered in India.
To cancel a registered POA the registration procedure is somewhat repeated again where instead of registration, a cancellation document is registered and the sub-registrar records the cancellation. This needs to be done at the same sub-registrar office where the POA was originally registered.