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November 16, 2003 

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Your Advocate

This week your advocate is M. Moazzam Husain of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. His professional interests include civil
law, criminal law and constitutional law.

Q: I am the owner of a plot of land in Dhanmondi residential area. Recently one house building developer company has offered me that they will build a high-rise apartment on the land. They offered handsome amount of money for the deal. But the problem is that they will not pay the amount in a single transaction and also they want me to execute a power of attorney to them. I want to know what would be the consequence if I execute power of attorney to them and they refuse to pay the money later. I would be grateful if you please suggests me and also advice what are the areas I should look in the future contract with the developer company.
Anwarul Azim, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Your Advocate: Yours is a very big deal involving huge amount of money. So there should be appropriate documentation covering every single transaction. Power of attorney is a unilateral document empowering a person to act for and in the name of the person executing it and the donee of the power of attorney may execute or do any assurance, instrument or thing in and with his own name and signature, by the authority of the donor of the power; and every assurance ,instrument and thing so executed and done , shall be as effectual in law as if it had been executed or done by the donee of the power in the name, and with the signature and seal, of the donor thereof.

The instrument of power of attorney is basically a deed of agency having hardly anything to do with monetary transaction of the kind you have indicated. In your case there must be contract between you and the developers setting out all the terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties. The instrument may be a deed of agreement which, amongst other things, will contain the clauses covering the modality of payment of money by the developers. Only a bilateral document of the kind should be the basic instrument which can provide the owner of the land with adequate safeguards in respect of the dues payable to him.

In our country no uniform law and practices have developed in this area of activity. This is really a new and emerging area claiming uniformity of law and practice. Since there is none it would be advisable to share experiences from your neighbourhood. Over and above, in view of the gravity of the deal, you should take help of an experienced lawyer.

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