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Abuse of General power of Attorney (GPoA)

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that empowers a person to act on behalf of another. This provision has been abused by land sharks in the transfer of property mainly for saving of stamp duty and committing frauds.

Land sharks usually targeted plots that remain uncared for over some time, and the victims include non-resident Indians. Immovable property embroiled in legal wrangling among family members was also targeted. Many frauds, take place with the collusion of village-level officials, who have access to land registers, survey numbers and boundaries.

Though Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 makes registration of GPO optional. Forging a power of attorney is cheap when compared to a sale deed because of the stamp duty on PoA, which is a mere Rs. 100 now.

The Supreme Court order had mandated that transfer of properties through proper sale deed will have to be executed giving full financial details and payment of correct stamp duty.

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