Whether a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution can be filed by a power of attorney holder.

“Whether a writ petition under Article 226 of
the Constitution can be filed by a power of attorney holder.” 
The meaning of a power of attorney 
The Powers-of-Attorney Act, 18821 was enacted to amend the law
relating to powers of attorney. Section 1-A of the Act provides that a power of
attorney includes any instrument empowering a specified person to act for and
in the name of the person executing it. Section 2 stipulates that the donee of
a power of attorney may, if he thinks fit, execute or do any instrument or
thing in and with his own name and signature, by the authority of the donor of
the power, and every instrument or 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. 
The true meaning of a power of attorney finds elaboration in a
judgment of the Supreme Court in State of Rajasthan Vs Basant Nahata2, where
the Supreme Court held as follows: 
“13. A grant of power of attorney is essentially governed by
Chapter X of the Contract Act. By reason of a deed of power of attorney, an
agent is formally appointed to act for the principal in one transaction or a
series of transactions or to manage the affairs of the principal generally
conferring necessary authority upon another person. A deed of power of attorney
is executed by the principal in favour of the agent. The agent derives a right
to use his name and all acts, deeds and things done by him and subject to the
limitations contained in the said deed, the same shall be read as if done by
the donor. A power of attorney is, as is well-known, a document of
convenience. 
When a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution is
instituted through a power of attorney holder, the holder of the power of
attorney does not espouse a right or claim personal to him but acts as an agent
of the donor of the instrument. The petition which is instituted, is always
instituted in the name of the principal who is the donor of the power of
attorney and through whom the donee acts as his agent. In other words, the
petition which is instituted under Article 226 of the Constitution is not by
the power of attorney holder independently for himself but as an agent acting
for and on behalf of the principal in whose name the writ proceedings are
instituted before the Court.
 
Having held so, we must, at the same time,
emphasize the necessity of observing adequate safeguards where a writ petition
is filed through the holder of a power of attorney. These safeguards should
necessarily include the following: 
(1) The power of attorney by which the donor
authorises the donee, must be brought on the record and must be filed together
with the petition/application; 
(2) The affidavit which is executed by the holder
of a power of attorney must contain a statement that the donor is alive and
specify the reasons for the inability of the donor to remain present before the
Court to swear the affidavit; and 
(3) The donee must be confined to those acts which
he is authorised by the power of attorney to discharge. 
For these reasons, we hold and have come to the
conclusion that the question referred for adjudication before the Full Bench
must be answered in the affirmative and is accordingly answered, subject to due
observance of the safeguards which we have indicated above. 
The question of law is answered accordingly. The
writ petition shall now be placed before the appropriate Bench for disposal in
light of the reference so answered. 
Dated:- 22.1.2016 
AHA 
(Dr D Y Chandrachud, CJ) 
(D K Upadhyaya, J) 

(Rajan Roy, J) 

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