Who will verify legal documents from Kashmir, LHC asks
7 November 2006
The Daily Times
Lahore: Lahore High Court Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday asked the counsels of two parties to state which authority was competent to verify the authenticity of legal documents executed in Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of a Pakistani High Commission in Srinagar. The point was raised during the hearing of an appeal where Muhammad Khalil Dar, a resident of Lahore, produced a power of attorney signed by Dr Farooq Abdullah, former J&K chief minister, his brother and two sisters, of 10 kanals on Mason Road, Lahore, which he wanted evacuated. Dar had got a decree on the evacuation of the land from a local civil court. Dar said he had inherited the land from his grandmother Akbar Jehan Begum, the wife of Abdullah. Dar claimed that he was a bonafide general attorney of the land on behalf of the late Akbar Jehan Begum, who inherited the property from her grandmother Mir Jan Begum. Asjad Saeed, counsel for the appellant, said the power of attorney had lost its legal status after the death of Akbar Jehan and Dar would have to obtain a fresh power of attorney from the legal heirs of Akbar Jehan. Dar later submitted a fresh general power of attorney on behalf of the legal heirs of Akbar Jehan, who live in Srinagar, where he travelled for the purpose. He said the appeal should be dismissed and that he be declared the legal agent of the owners of the land. The counsel for the appellant challenged the legality of the power of attorney, contending that any legal document executed in a foreign country had to be attested by a Pakistani Embassy or High Commission as required by law. Dar said J&K was disputed and that the government did not have a High Commission in Srinagar. He asked the court to declare the document valid. The court invited arguments from both sides to quote certain legal authorities as to who would be the competent authority to attest the power of attorney in J&K. The hearing of the appeal was adjourned with date in office.