The brief facts of the case are that O.S.No.8 of 2009 was instituted by the General Power of Attorney (GPA) Holder, by name, Sri K.K. Ravi Sagar, for and on behalf of respondent Nos.1 to 4 herein, who executed GPA in favour of the above said person vide document dated 29.07.2008, against respondent Nos.13 to 24 as well as petitioner herein for declaration of title and injunction in respect of land admeasuring Acs.18.18 guntas, covered by Survey No.1258, situated at Nandigam Village, Kothur Mandal, and for correction of entries in the revenue record. Thereafter, respondent No.1/plaintiff No.1 died on 31.02.2011. In view of the same, the other legal representatives of respondent No.1 and respondent Nos.2 to 4 executed GPA afresh on 09.09.2016 in favour of the aforesaid GPA holder. Then, the said GPA Holder filed I.A.Nos.331, 332, 334 and 333 of 2016 to permit him to represent the other legal representatives of respondent No.1, to set aside the abatement order, to condone the delay in filing the application for bringing on record the legal representatives of respondent No.1, who are respondent Nos.5 to 12 herein, and to bring on record the other legal representatives of respondent No.1, who are respondent Nos.5 to 12 herein, as plaintiff Nos.5 to 12, respectively. The Court below allowed I.A.Nos.332, 333 and 334 of 2016 vide common order dated 09.11.2016, and also allowed I.A.No.331 of 2016 on the same day by a separate order. Aggrieved by the order allowing I.A.No.331 of 2016, defendant No.12 filed this Civil Revision Petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the order under revision is not in conformity with the procedure prescribed under Section 4 of the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882 (for short ‘the Act’), and under Rule 32 of the Civil Rules of Practice (for short ‘the Rules’) and that no opportunity of hearing was given to the petitioner to verify and contest the genuineness or otherwise of the GPA executed afresh, as such, he prays for remanding the matter to the Court below for fresh consideration.
On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents submits that Sri K.K. Ravi Sagar, who was the Power of Attorney Holder, was prosecuting the aforesaid suit on behalf of respondent Nos.2 to 4 and on the demise of respondent No.1, a fresh GPA came to be executed on 09.09.2016 for and on behalf of the other legal representatives of respondent No.1, along with respondent Nos.2 to 4; that there is no objection raised by the defendants, who includes the petitioner herein, by filing counters, as such, the order under revision cannot be found fault with; that no prejudice would be caused to the petitioner as well as the other defendants in the suit and that the petitioner filed this Civil Revision Petition only to delay the proceedings in the suit.
So far as the first contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the order under revision is not in conformity with the procedure prescribed under Section 4 of the Act is concerned, it is necessary to notice Section 4 of the Act, more particularly, clause (a) thereof. However, Section 4 of the Act reads as under:
“4. Deposit of original instruments creating powers-of- attorney.—
(a) An instrument creating a power-of-attorney, its execution being verified by affidavit, statutory declaration or other sufficient evidence, may, with the affidavit or declaration, if any, be deposited in the High Court 9[or District Court] within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the instrument may be.
(b) A separate file of instruments so deposited shall be kept; and any person May search that file, and inspect every instrument so deposited; and a certified copy thereof shall be delivered out to him on request.
(c) A copy of an instrument so deposited may be presented at the office and may be stamped or marked as a certified copy, and, when so stamped or marked, shall become and be a certified copy.
(d) A certified copy of an instrument so deposited shall, without further proof, be sufficient evidence of the contents of the instrument and of the deposit thereof in the High Court 1[or District Court].
(e) The High Court may, from time to time, make rules for the purposes of this section, and prescribing, with the concurrence of the State Government, the fees to be taken under clauses (a), (b) and (c).
(f)* * * * *
(g) This section applies to instruments creating powers-of-attorney executed either before or after this Act comes into force.”
A careful reading of the above provision, more particularly, Clause (a), reveals that it is not mandated that the original of Power of Attorney executed was required to be deposited with the High Court or the District Court. The language used therein is only ‘may’.
It is well settled that except in certain circumstances, ‘may’ does not mean ‘must’. The word ‘may’ means discretionary. Further, it is not brought to the notice of this Court that there is any rule made under Section 4(e) of the Act prescribing the fees that is required to be paid. In view of the same, the argument of the learned counsel that the mandatory procedure, which is not held to be really mandatory, is not complied with, has no merit. Accordingly, the same is rejected.
So far as the second contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that non-compliance of Rule 32 of the Rules is concerned, Rule 32 of the Rules does not mandate notice to be given to the other side. However, a careful reading of the said Rule discloses that it is between the Court and the person, who is seeking to represent the other party to be satisfied that prima facie, it would be specified that the person is representing the party as an authority. The other contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the genuineness or otherwise of the power of attorney was not tested and allowing the Application at this stage would cause prejudice to their case as they would not be in a position to later question the same, are also liable to be rejected, as, there is no dispute that the power of attorney holder filed the suit originally and further, a fresh power of attorney also came to be executed and if at all any objection, it has to be from the power of attorney holder and not by the
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petitioner, who is defendant in the suit. Further, the scope of the power of attorney is limited to the conducting of the proceedings in the suit only. In view of the same, the apprehensions expressed by the petitioner are only imaginary. However, the petitioner would have ample opportunity to raise all objections to the impermissible acts that may be perpetrated by the power of attorney holder. For the reasons stated above, this Court does not find any reason to interfere with the order under revision. Accordingly, this Civil Revision Petition is dismissed. Miscellaneous applications, if any pending, shall stand closed. There shall be no order as to costs.