IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th April, 2024 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/court-orders-and-govt-decisions-a-look-back-at-criminal-justice-in-2022-122122600204_1.html

Context: Two lawyers challenge Gujarat High Court's order initiating a probe for allegedly forging vakalatnama, citing violations of their rights under Articles 19 (profession) and 21 (reputation) of the Constitution.

What is a Vakalatnama?

  • The term combines "Vakalat," meaning authority or representation, and "Nama," meaning document. Together, they form a term that signifies a document of representation.
  • A Vakalatnama is a legal document that empowers an advocate to represent a client in legal proceedings. It's a formal delegation of authority from a client to a lawyer, allowing the lawyer to act on the client's behalf within the judicial system.

Purpose and Function

  • When an individual requires legal representation, they sign a Vakalatnama. This document specifies the extent of the lawyer's powers, including which case(s) the lawyer will handle and in which court(s).

Legal Definitions

  • The Vakalatnama isn't specifically defined in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, or the Power of Attorney Act, 1882. However, its meaning is outlined in the Advocates Welfare Fund Act, 2001, where it's described as a document empowering an advocate to appear or plead in any court, tribunal, or authority.

Who Can Authorise a Vakalatnama?

  • An aggrieved person: Someone directly affected by a legal issue.
  • Power of Attorney holder: A person legally appointed to manage the aggrieved person's affairs.
  • Business or trade representative: Someone representing the aggrieved person's commercial interests in the area.
  • Joint party: In cases involving multiple parties, they can collectively appoint an advocate(s).

Essential Elements of a Vakalatnama

  • Execution date: When the document comes into effect.
  • Case name(s): The legal matter(s) for which representation is sought.
  • Court name(s): Where the advocate will represent the client.
  • Authorising a person's name: The individual giving the advocate the authority.

Revocation of a Vakalatnama

  • Clients hold the power to revoke a Vakalatnama at any point. However, this must be done following the correct legal process, which can differ based on the jurisdiction.

It's important to note that a Vakalatnama is not required for all legal services. For instance, tasks like providing legal opinions, sending notices, or drafting documents don't necessitate a Vakalatnama.


  • A Vakalatnama is a legal document in India that formally authorises a lawyer to represent a client in court or other legal proceedings, outlining the scope of representation and granting necessary authority to the lawyer.




Q. A Vakalatnama is essentially:

A) A power of attorney authorising a lawyer to represent a client in court.

B) A document outlining the details of a legal case.

C) A contract between a lawyer and client outlining fees and services.

D) All of the above.

Answer: A