Legal queries…

Many houses in Vellore corporation limit, which were constructed with proper permission from the then local planning authority and government housing loan from the Vellore collector are now somewhat cut off as the connecting  20 feet public road has been blocked by the original land owner as he illegally obtained a patta in his name from the  revenue  department. The corporation says it is a legal dispute as the layouts are not approved. Is the corporation right in saying this and what is the remedy?

M Sivalingam

The layout must be approved by the planning authorities. There is no such thing as an unapproved layout that has  something constructed on it. Construction on an unapproved layout is illegal and liable to be removed by the planning authorities and local bodies.

2 We are among the 240 flat buyers under phase 1 (of 4 phases) of a private housing project. After securing a bank loan, we paid the full cost of the flat. The UDS was registered in our name and we are the flat’s legal owners. However, the builder didn’t complete even phase 1. About 6 months ago, a financial company posted a notice invoking SARFAESI Act, informing the builder that 91 flats and open lands were pledged to them as he failed to repay a loan of Rs 26 crores. The builder sent an NOC stating that our flat was free from the pledge. But we didn’t hear from the company after forwarding the NOC to them. Kindly advise.

R Ragunathan

If your development agreement has any arbitration clause, seek for an arbitration against the builder. As against the finance company invoking SARFAESI Act, you have no remedy as the properties have been pledged to them.

3 I bought a house in Salem in 1988. When I purchased it, there was a well in the Northeast corner of the house. This well is shared by 3 house owners including myself and this is clearly recorded in the title deeds. The other two house owners have now closed the well without my knowledge. What are my legal options?

M Srinivasan

You may file a civil suit for damages against the other two owners.

4 Rental agreements are usually made on Rs 20 stamp paper. But sometimes they are not available. In such a case, would it be alright to make the agreement on a plain sheet of paper, and would such an agreement be valid in court?

S S Subramanian

If non-judicial stamp papers of a lower denomination are not available, you can buy those of a higher denomination and have your rental deeds written on it. Without paying proper stamp duty, the document is not valid according to the law.  In fact, a 11-month rental agreement has no legal sanctity.  If the rental period exceeds 11 months, then the stamp duty payable on the agreement will be as per the annual rental value.

5 My mother passed away in 2003 and we misplaced her death certificate. How can we obtain a new one? I have shares under my mother’s name and some under both our names. I had made the investment for the two of us. My brothers are no more and I have two married sisters. How can I transfer the shares to my name?

R Chandar

There is no difficulty in transferring the joint shares in your favour. You can produce another death certificate after applying afresh from the local body. With reference to the shares which are in the name of your mother, you will need to have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your siblings.

Credits New Indian Express

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