Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document in which you authorize another person (known as an agent, attorney, or attorney in fact) to act on your behalf and grant that person all legal rights. The authorized person can make decisions, enter into contracts, and sell/purchase property in your place, just like you. A Power of Attorney is a vital legal document that a person grants to a third party. It gives one the authority to act, appear, and sign all relevant documents on his or her behalf if he or she is unable to perform any specific act, appear before the Court/any other authority, or execute any specific document. The person issuing the Power of Attorney is known as the ‘Principal,’ while the person to whom the principal is issuing it is known as the ‘Attorney.’ When the PoA’s purpose expires, the executor may revoke or cancel the legal instrument by following a specific procedure. However, before doing so, it is necessary to understand how to revoke the power of attorney as well as the other legalities involved.

What Is the Purpose of Power of Attorney?
As time passes, the commercial and legal worlds become more complicated for a layperson to handle on their own. As a result, it is frequently necessary to appoint specialists to the task. An engineer, for example, may delegate authority to a Chartered Accountant to handle his income tax returns.
In the field of real estate, common examples of power of attorney can be found. When the principal is the seller, real estate brokers are frequently given the authority to offer the property for sale, accept an offer for the house when the principal is the buyer, and so on.
For NRIs who want to deal in real estate situated in Indian territory, power of attorney is also very helpful.

Kinds of Powers of Attorney
General Power of Attorney and Specific Power of Attorney.The titles of the various types of powers of attorney are self-explanatory. Their subject matter differentiates them.
A general power of attorney is used when a power of attorney deals with a specific subject as a whole. A specific power of attorney is one that only deals with a specific aspect of a subject.
An attorney who has been granted a specific power of attorney may not exceed his or her authority and make decisions under a general power of attorney. In the case of Svenska Handelsbanken vs Indian Charge Chrome Ltd (1994), this was established.

When can a PoA be Cancelled?
Section 201 of the Indian Contract Act of 1872 specifies the conditions for termination of agency. These are as follows:
i) When the Principal himself revoked an agent’s authority.
ii) When either the ‘Principal’ or the ‘Agent’ becomes ineffective.
iii) When a competent court of law with jurisdiction declares either the ‘Principal’ or the ‘Agent’ insolvent.
iv) When the ‘POA’ holder/agent renounces the agency.
v) When the purpose or business for carrying out such a ‘POA’ is completed.
vi) When either the Principal/Donor or the Agent/Donee dies.
vii) Situations in which ‘Implied Revocation’ is mentioned in the terms of the ‘POA’ signed by the parties.

Relevant Case Laws
The court established in the case of Govindkoss Krishna Koss v Gopesjhwar lalaji Maharaj (1930), that “a power of attorney, though irrevocably granted, shall be revocable on strong proof of gross mismanagement on the part of the said attorney.”This also implies that if the appointed attorney (or agent) violates the terms of the contract between the principal and agent, the principal has the authority to revoke the power of attorney.

Another such instance of the agent overreaching and making decisions beyond the scope of his or her power of attorney as conferred by the principal is found in the case of Kartar Singh (Dead) through Lrs. vs Jaswant Singh (Dead) Through Lrs (2004).

It was determined in the case of Daily Telegraph Newspaper Co. vs. Mc Laughin that a mentally incompetent person can only appoint an agent during a lucid interval. A power-of-attorney executed by an unsound mind is invalid.

In the case of Prahlad vs Laddevi (2007), a power of attorney granted by the donor to the donee is only operative and effective during the donor’s lifetime. Powers of attorney cannot be used or are ineffective after the donor’s death.

When can a PoA not be Cancelled?
According to Section 202 of the Act, if the agent in a principal-agent relationship has an interest in the agency, the power of attorney cannot be revoked without the agent’s consent.
The case of Loon Karan v Iva John (1968), explains this. The appellant owed the bank (defendant) money that he could not repay, so the appellant gave the bank a general power of attorney to conduct business in his name to clear his debt. The appellant believed that the bank did not follow through on the contract because the required funds did not arrive. The court ruled that because the agent had an interest in the contract, it could not be revoked solely by the principal under Section 202 of the Indian Contract Act. It also necessitates the agent’s approval.

PoA Cancellation Procedure
i) Create a PoA revocation deed that includes the reason for the cancellation. Include the date that the revocation should take effect.
ii) Request cancellation of the PoA from the same authority that registered it.
iii) Send a copy of the cancellation agreement to the agent and anyone else he or she has interacted with on your behalf.
iv) Publicize the registered cancellation deed in newspapers.

If there are multiple Principals or the Power of Attorney authorizes multiple agents, who have the authority to revoke the power of attorney?
• If there are multiple Principals or the Power of Attorney authorizes multiple agents, then: If the Power of Attorney was executed jointly by either multiple principals or multiple agents, the revocation cannot be done by one Principal alone, and if any agent dies, other agents cannot exercise their powers.
• If the Power of Attorney was executed separately, the revocation is possible. If one of the four agents dies and each of them executed the Power of Attorney separately, the other three can exercise their powers.
• If a company or firm grants a person a power of attorney, the power of attorney may be automatically revoked upon the dissolution of that company or firm.

Therefore, we can divide Power of Attorney (PoA) documents into two types: general and specific. As a result, it is clear that there are numerous circumstances in which a PoA, once registered, can be revoked. As previously stated, one of these situations is the termination of the relationship between the authorizer and the attorney. However, the procedure for canceling any PoA that has been revoked for any reason is the same as described above.


  1. (Lodd) Govindoss Krishnadoss vs Gopeswar Lalji Maharaj And Anr. AIR 1930 Mad 231
  2. Daily Telegraph Newspaper Co. vs. Mc Laughin 1904 AC 776
  3. Handelsbanken vs Indian Charge Chrome Ltd 1994 SCC (2) 155
  4. Kartar Singh (Dead) through Lrs. vs Jaswant Singh (Dead) Through Lrs (2005) 141 PLR 78
  5. Prahlad And Ors. vs Laddevi And Ors. AIR 2007 Raj 166
  6. Seth Loon Karan Sethiya vs Ivan E. John And Ors. AIR 1969 SC 73
  7. See Prachi Darji, How to draft, review and revoke a Power of Attorney?, (Dec 13, 2019) (Last visited Sept.27, 2022)
  8. See Suprateek Neogi, How to Revoke Power of Attorney in India, (Feb,8 2017) (Last visited Sept.27, 2022)
  9. The Indian Contract Act, 1872.

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