Citizens' Issues
They Ain’t Making Land Anymore
Whether in economics or accountancy, this title is a cliché. An economy based on shortages is the North-bound driver of prices. Next come litigation and lawlessness. Some 70% of the cases in our high courts relate to property; as do many murders and acts of violence. Land-grabbing, squatting, benami transactions, black money, slumlords, encroachments, are words that fall under the head ‘property-related disputes’.
 
Property documents do not come in ‘one-size-fits-all’. Divya, my wife, breathes this legal domain. Prior to starting our venture, we had a talk, only to realise how much there is to learn. We picked cases that cause the most unease. 
 
You be the judge.
 
1) Mr B buys property from Mr S. Full payment made, he takes possession of the property. Huge back taxes are due. The sub-registrar’s job is to collect stamp duty. He does. Mr S does not dip into his pocket. What now?
 
2) A person of Indian origin (PIO) buys a flat in Nashik. The seller advises him to avoid stamp duty, asking him to take full possession of the flat. On his return, the man finds someone else in occupation, physically and legally, with duly executed registration. He goes to court; does not make the new owner a defendant. The seller vanishes. Our man gets an ex-parte (uncontested) order for return of his money; of course, for only the ‘white’ component. How safe is he?
 
3) A leave-and-licence agreement, duly registered, is executed by the licensee family head. He dies. What is the position of his family?
 
4) A leave-and-licence agreement, duly registered, is executed. The licensor (owner) dies. What is the position of the licensee and his family?
 
5) A man buys property with eyes wide open. There is a lessee on the property. The lease agreement says that if the lessor sells the property, the lease will come to an end. The lessee refuses to move out. What are the options available to the new owner? 
 
6) Recent reports talk of the courts asking errant builders to pay back money given by prospective buyers. Most orders are from the high courts, carrying a tinge of equity. One builder claims, honestly, that he is broke and has no money to pay. Can he be held for contempt and jailed?
 
The subject is vast and the possibilities endless. We try to explain each case as best we can; realising that each reader will have more queries.
 
In case 1, the authorities will collect from whomever they can. The law says that the seller is liable for past dues and that the buyer can recover them from Mr S. If both do not pay, the property can be attached; a loss to the buyer. A thorough title search, by an advocate, would have helped ensure clarity.
 
In case 2, we told the PIO that he deserved neither sympathy nor relief for trying to fleece the government; and, even if he got the order, he would never be able to execute it. He carried abroad a piece of paper, without seeing a paisa. The irony is that our introducing friend had loaned the PIO money; returnable on settlement!
 
Cases 3 and 4 need an understanding of licence mechanics. A licence is between two parties, both living and competent. It exists so long as both parties are in existence. Otherwise, unless so specified, the licence may come to an end.
 
 ‘Once-a-lessee-always-a-lessee’, confers many rights. The new purchaser had jumped in with his eyes wide shut. He was aware of the ‘encumbrance’. If he had shown the lease deed to a lawyer, he would have been told it was faulty, ab initio.
 
Case 6 type examples multiply daily. A competent lawyer would have got a bank guarantee to cover construction costs. But when one is chasing golden rainbows, lawyer’s fees are such massive irritants.
 

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

1 month ago

Great article on the biggest crime in India after murder.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 months ago

The limitation of land is the reason for North bound driver of prices.The litigation and lawlessness,corruption in Justice system adds to misery.Landgrabbing,forceful possetion has become routine.The days are not far when our courts will only deal with property related cases.For the delay in courts The saying goes "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"suits the courts to justify delay.They will reason as man power shortage and throw stone in government court.But wont mend their shortcomings and improve efficiency as Bar & Bench are hand in glove for delay and corruption.Ordinarily public faints when he hear advocates fees.There ought to be serious discussion on this issue.This is need of hour.

The limitation of land is the reason for North bound driver of prices.The litigation and lawlessness,corruption in Justice system adds to misery.Landgrabbing,forceful possetion has become routine.The days are not far when our courts will only deal with property related cases.For the delay in courts The saying goes "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"suits the courts to justify delay.They will reason as man power shortage and throw stone in government court.But wont mend their shortcomings and improve efficiency as Bar & Bench are hand in glove for delay and corruption.Ordinarily public faints when he hear advocates fees.There ought to be serious discussion on this issue.This is need of hour.

The limitation of land is the reason for North bound driver of prices.The litigation and lawlessness,corruption in Justice system adds to misery.Landgrabbing,forceful possetion has become routine.The days are not far when our courts will only deal with property related cases.For the delay in courts The saying goes "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"suits the courts to justify delay.They will reason as man power shortage and throw stone in government court.But wont mend their shortcomings and improve efficiency as Bar & Bench are hand in glove for delay and corruption.Ordinarily public faints when he hear advocates fees.There ought to be serious discussion on this issue.This is need of hour.

Bapoo Malcolm

2 months ago

Mr. Rajiv Shah, Simply love that bit about 'avoiding professional fees of lawyers,'. One gets what he pays for. Zero for zero.

rajiv shah

2 months ago

So long as people have greed to save money by cheating the Government or by avoiding professional fees of lawyers, these problems are going to continue.. old saying "penny wise, pound foolish"!

Speedtest: Is Your Internet Connection up to Speed?
Speedtest.net (by Ookla) is one of the best, free, speed-testing solutions for your computer and mobile phone. Often, we are promised high speeds by our service-provider when, in fact, the speeds are not so great. A lay person finds it difficult to justify claims of low speed. 
 
Speedtest.net is a website which you can visit and test your Internet speed, for free. Go to the website and click on Begin Test. The site will quickly test your Internet connection vspeed and give you the results online. It will identify the nearest server and check all the parameters that need to be checked. You can share the results with your Internet service-provider to update them on the actual speed you are getting. Run the test multiple times, at different times of the day, to come to a reasonably accurate conclusion.
 
Speedtest.net also has an app which you can download on your mobile phone to check the speed of the mobile data or your Wi-Fi, depending on how you are connected. The app allows you to:
  • Discover your download, upload and ping;
  • See real-time graphs displaying connection consistency; 
  • Troubleshoot or verify the speed you were promised; 
  • Track past tests with detailed reporting;
  • Easily share your results.

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Nifty, Sensex waiting for triggers – Thursday closing report
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were still range-bound, though bears were continuing to dominate. The major indices of the Indian stock markets continued to be range-bound on Thursday and closed with minor losses over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Indian equity markets traded on a flat-to-negative note during mid-afternoon trade on Thursday as selling pressure was witnessed in oil and gas, metal and healthcare stocks. According to market observers, investors remained cautious ahead of assembly elections' exit poll outcome. Besides, investors were spooked ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy review later in the evening and the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet next week.
 
The BSE market breadth was marginally tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,393 declines and 1,219 advances. CNX Nifty traded with sideways sentiments due to profit-booking. Correction in USD/INR futures prices from higher levels provided support to the Indian equity market at current levels. IT (information technology) sector stocks faced resistance at higher levels, while banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and power sector stocks traded with bearish sentiments due to profit booking. 
 
Tata Steel UK has completed the consultation process to close its existing pension scheme for its workers from 31 March 2017. A new pension scheme will be implemented from April 1, 2017.
Tata Steel Ltd disclosed the development in a regulatory filing in BSE on Wednesday. During the consultation process, the company spoke to more than 4,000 employees at more than 90 face-to-face briefings across the UK and also received feedback from trade unions. According to the statement, after considering responses received and sharing the review with the trade unions, Tata Steel UK has informed its employees it will close the British Steel Pension Scheme to future accrual. Tata Steel shares closed at Rs469.50, down 0.72% on the BSE.
 
Software major's US arm Infosys Public Services on Wednesday announced partnering with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to modernise its child welfare information system. "The Information Management Protecting Adults and Children of Texas system will be modernised to deliver child welfare related services," said the IT firm subsidiary in a statement here. The primary case management and administrative system is used by 10,500 employees at 250 locations to serve 12 million children, the elderly and the disabled. "In the second phase, the system will be modernised into a modular, mobile-enabled application with automated workflows and self-service capabilities for child protective services, adult protective services, child care licensing and prevention and early intervention programme areas," said the statement. Infosys shares closed at Rs1011.60, up 0.43% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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