Legal Insights: Boundaries of Testimony Authority for Power of Attorney Holders

In a recent judicial pronouncement, the Supreme Court has elucidated the limitations concerning the testimony rights of Power of Attorney holders. According to the apex court, a Power of Attorney holder is only permitted to testify regarding facts within their direct knowledge, excluding matters known solely to the represented individual.

The ruling emerged from a case concerning an asserted easementary right over a pathway, where the claim was primarily founded on statements made by a Power of Attorney, who lacked firsthand knowledge of the pertinent facts.

The bench, comprising Justices Pankaj Mithal and Prashant Kumar Mishra, emphasized that a Power of Attorney holder may only attest to facts they have personally witnessed, not those beyond their purview or known exclusively by the represented party.

In the case under scrutiny, the appellants staked their claim based on assertions made by their Power of Attorney, disregarding the fact that he was not authorized to represent them at the time of the purported transaction. Consequently, the court deemed the Power of Attorney’s testimony void of substance in establishing the alleged easementary right.

The crux of the matter lies in the principle that a Power of Attorney holder cannot provide testimony on matters beyond their direct knowledge, nor can they substitute for the represented individual in legal proceedings.

Furthermore, citing precedent from Janki Vashdeo Bhojwani vs. IndusInd Bank Ltd., the court reiterated that for a Power of Attorney holder to offer testimony, they must possess firsthand knowledge of the transaction in question.

The judgment clarifies that the authority bestowed upon a Power of Attorney holder is not transferable to another individual, except under explicit provisions within the Power of Attorney document. Consequently, sub-delegation of duties is impermissible without such clauses.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, affirming the decisions of the lower courts, and emphasizing the necessity for testimony by individuals possessing direct knowledge of the relevant facts.

The case serves as a significant legal precedent, delineating the boundaries within which Power of Attorney holders may provide testimony, ensuring the integrity of legal proceedings.

The legal counsels involved in the case represented their respective parties with diligence and expertise, contributing to the elucidation of this nuanced legal issue.

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