HC redefines ‘agent’ for receiving public document
In a landmark judgement, the Delhi high court has widened the scope of definition of agent or representative authorized to get the certified copy of a public document under the Registration Act, 1908. The court has held that an agent includes an ‘interested and aggrieved person’.
Justice Suresh Kait has ruled that there is no embargo under Section 57(3) of the Registration Act on supplying the copy of a public document in favour of any interested person.
The ruling will provide relief to people who buy property from holders of power of attorney but are later unable to prove the transaction when dispute arises or the owner of property repudiates the sale agreement.
The verdict came on a writ petition moved by Delhi resident Zarina Siddiqui, who had bought a house in Bangalore from R Vishwanathan holding a general power of attorney issued by his brother A Ramalingam. Though the petitioner is in possession of the property, Mr Vishwanathan died before the sale deed could be executed.
Mr Ramalingam later stated that the powers held with Mr Vishwanathan were limited to looking after his share in the property and repudiated the sale agreement. Ms Siddiqui then approached the subregistrar, District Central, New Delhi, through her lawyer seeking a copy of the power of attorney executed in favour of Mr Vishwanathan. The sub-registrar had refused to supply the copy.