There have been numerous cases in Pakistan where the property owner is in a foreign country, and someone in Pakistan has bought their property. This is possible in the case the foreign residing property owner has given someone the power of attorney to make the sale on their behalf.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, looks at the definition of Power of Attorney in Pakistan and how foreign Pakistanis can get the document.
Definition of Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney, also known as Mukhtar Nama, is used by a litigant (donor/executant/principal) to authorise a designated individual (donee/agent) to represent them in legal matters.
The Power of Attorney (POA) can also be used when the litigant is an overseas Pakistani and has to send a representative in their place in their home country.
The Power of Attorney Act, 1882 defines it as:
“The donee [Executant] of a power-of-attorney may, if they think fit, execute or do any assurance, instrument or thing in and with his own name and signature, and his own seal, where sealing is required, by the authority of the donor of the power; and every assurance, instrument, and thing so executed and done, shall be as effectual in law as if it had been executed or done by the donee of the power in the name, and with the signature and seal, of the donor thereof.”
However, the use of POA is not limited to court proceedings; it can be used in legal issues pertaining to taxation and buying, selling, and renting property.
Types of Power of Attorney
In Pakistan, there are three types of Power of Attorney:
- General Power of Attorney
- Special Power of Attorney
- Legal Power of Attorney
General Power of Attorney
Also known as Mukhtar Nama Aam, the General Power of Attorney is used in a situation where a litigant gives a person the right of representation in its entirety.
That is to say that the representative, on behalf of the litigant, can hire lawyers, sell and purchase assets, and file appeals.
It should be noted that the executant can specify whether the General Power of Attorney is revocable or irrevocable. In such a case, all terms and conditions of the General Power of Attorney must be mentioned.
Special Power of Attorney
The Special Power of Attorney, also known as Mukhtar Nama Khas, allows a person to appoint a representative for a specific purpose.
This task is to be clearly mentioned on the Special Power of Attorney document.
Legal Power of Attorney
The Legal Power of Attorney, known as Vakalat Nama in the local language, is a document submitted by a person’s lawyer in court to inform that they will be representing the person in a particular case.
Power of Attorney for Sale of Property
The Courts in Pakistan have legalised the sale of property through Power of Attorney. In (PLJ) 2016 LHR 881, the Lahore High Court ruled that a representative cannot sell a property without a POA from the executant (the owner of the property).
Therefore, power of attorney can be used for the sale of property. However, it should be noted that POA is valid only when registered under the Section 17 of Registration Act. In addition, it should be noted that the 2016 Civil Law Case (CLC) 1338 mentions that the property being sold must be clearly mentioned in the POA.
Getting a Power of Attorney in Pakistan
In case both the executant and the representative are in Pakistan, the procedure of getting a POA is as follows:
- The POA is to be written on a stamp paper.
- It should clearly note the purpose of POA and the property the POA is to be executed for.
- The POA is to be attested from a notary or a district judge.
- Finally, the POA is registered with the sub-registrar’s office.
Special Power of Attorney for Overseas Pakistanis
The process for POA for overseas Pakistanis is different from the one stated above. The process has been stated below.
- The Special Power of Attorney is documented on stamp paper.
- The stamp paper is sent to the principal, i.e., the person living abroad.
- The principal signs the document and is required to get it stamped from the embassy of the resident country.
- A complete list of documents is submitted at the embassy as per the residential country requirements.
- Then, the POA document is sent back to Pakistan.
- The POA document needs to be verified and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Lastly, the document is to be registered with a registrar in Pakistan.
Digital Power of Attorney
The National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) has started the service of digital POA with selected missions abroad.
These are given below:
|United States of America||Chicago||333 N Michigan Ave Suit 728, IL 60601||001312 781 1831|
|United States of America||Washington DC||3517, International Court NW, DC 20008||202 243 6500|
|United States of America||Houston||11850 Jones Road, TX 77070||12818902223|
|United States of America||Los Angeles||10700 Santa Monica Blvd, suite 211, Los Angeles, CA 90025||00310-4415114-4410167|
|United States of America||New York||Embassy of Pakistan, 12 East 65th Street, NY 10065.||(01)-212-879-5800 Ext 229 (fax) 517-6987|
|United Kingdom||London||Pakistan High Commission, 34 Lowndes Square, SW1X 9JN.||44-0207-6649200/11|
|United Kingdom||Glasgow||45 Maxwell Dr, Pollokshields, Glasgow G41 5JF||+44 7378 790257|
|United Kingdom||Birmingham||10-A, The Wharf Bridge Street B1 2JS|
|United Kingdom||Manchester||137-Dickenson Road M14 5JB||1612251786|
|United Kingdom||Bradford||Consul General, 12-A North Parade, BD1 3HT.||(00 44 1274) 308062, 308064, 308874|
How to Get a Digital POA
- Make an account on NADRA’s POA portal by providing the requested information.
- Authenticate your email by providing the one-time password (OTP).
- Initiate the process by submitting the required documents.
- The applicant will upload biometrics on the fingerprint form provided.
- The applicant will pay the fee of POA and will wait for biometric verification.
- Once verified, the consulate will schedule an interview with the applicant.
- The applicant will receive a system-generated email from the consulate which informs the applicant of the final consent.
Eligibility for Digital Power of Attorney
In order to obtain a digital POA, the following criteria must be met.
- The principal/executor must be an overseas Pakistani.
- Valid identity documents (CNIC, NICOP, POC) of the principal, witnesses, and attorney.
- Valid email address of the principal.
- Contact number and postal address in the country of residence.
- Biometrics of the principal and 2 witnesses.
- Credit or debit card to make payment.
- Scanned copy of POA and thumb impressions of principal and witnesses, along with the picture of principal.
- Any other documents requested by the POA system.
- For attestation of POA, the principal is requested to visit the Pakistani embassy/consulate in person.
- In case of multiple missions in a country, the principal is responsible for choosing the mission when applying for digital POA.
Fee for Getting a Power of Attorney
The fee of getting a POA can vary greatly depending on the legal agency you register it with. Besides this fee, the official registration fee of the POA is 1% of the total property value.
It should be noted here that the POA is to be printed on stamp paper of Rs.500 to Rs. 5,000.
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