Power of Attorney Holder – Cannot depose in place of Principal

It is a settled legal proposition that the power-of-attorney holder cannot depose in place of the principal. The provisions of Order 3 Rules 1 and 2 CPC empower the holder of the power of attorney to “act” on behalf of the principal. The word “acts” employed therein is confined only to “acts” done by the power-of-attorney holder, in exercise of the power granted to him by virtue of the instrument. The term “acts”, would not include deposing in place and instead of the principal. In other words, if the power-of-attorney holder has preferred any “acts” in pursuance of the power of attorney, he may depose for the principal in respect of such acts, but he cannot depose for the principal for acts done by the principal, and not by him. Similarly, he cannot depose for the principal in respect of a matter as regards which, the principal is entitled to be cross-examined. S. Kesari Hanuman Goud v. Anjum Jehan, (2013) 12 SCC 64.

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