Buying property through General Power of Attorney or GPA

The Honorable court has held that when someone transfers any immovable property through GPA, it does not convey any right or title or create any interest in respect of such immovable property in favor of such person as only a deed of conveyance/sale deed which is duly stamped under the provisions of the Stamp Act applicable to the state in which such property is situated, as well as registered under the provisions of the Registration Act, does so.

Validity and Scope of General Power of Attorney

A lot of real estate is being bought through GPA; however, as a power of attorney is not an instrument of transfer in regard to any right, title or interest in an immovable property, it still serves several purposes for buyers and sellers, particularly where registration of sale deed is not possible due to some legal issues.

The legal definition of the GPA is that it is a mere agency whereby the grantor authorizes the grantee to do certain acts specified therein; this he does on behalf of grantor, which when executed will be binding on the grantor as if done by him. Interestingly, GPA is revocable or can even be terminated at any time unless made irrevocable in a manner known to law.

GPA is Not Irrevocable

The law is that even if the parties have determined that the GPA is irrevocable it won’t have the effect of transferring title to the grantee. Thus, in totality GPA does not convey ownership of the buyer; however, a GPA holder may execute a deed of conveyance in exercise of the power granted under the power of attorney and convey title on behalf of the grantor.

Taking the judgment from the Supreme of India into consideration it’s a settled law now that immovable property can be legally and lawfully transferred or conveyed only by a registered deed of conveyance and not through GPA. Thus, as GPA does not conclude complete transaction, the Supreme Court parties should consider registering the deed of conveyance.

The Supreme Court in the case had however, observed that GPA transactions may also be used to obtain specific performance or to defend possession under section 53A of Transfer of Property Act, 1882.