To get arrears paid, one can institute a civil suit
I have signed a contract to do marketing work for a company for one year on a monthly payment of Rs 1 lakh. I was paid after three months, and for the next six months, there was no payment. Now the company says they will settle my outstanding payment only if I give a ‘discount’ of Rs 2 lakh. I fear I will have to pay more in fees if I appoint a lawyer. Is there some way I can get my payment without taking them to court?
— Fazil (via email)
Since your assignment is on a contractual basis, to get your payment arrears cleared, you will have to institute only a civil suit before the City Civil Court or any civil court near your place. For this, you need the assistance of a lawyer. If you do not have resources to engage a lawyer, you can approach the legal aid services authority attached to every civil court.
Parking regularly on the road may not be proper
I stay in an independent house. My neighbour parks his two cars on the road and uses his parking space for a TT table where his children play. Ours is a narrow road of only 12 feet and his parking takes up almost half the lane. Many of us are inconvenienced but he says he is parking in front of his house and not in front of others. Do we have the right to object to him parking on the road?
-- Ramaswamy, Neelankarai
Regular parking on the road may not be proper. But you have very limited say in such matters. Also, your grievance should not be based on jealousy as you seem to be overtaken by the fact that his parking space is used for their children’s play!
Space used for non-residential purpose will invite higher tax
I have rented out a portion of my house to a single lady. She wants to start a food supply business where she will cook and cater to people. I wanted to know if her business will be considered as a commercial venture and there will be any problem for me as the landlord of the property concerned. Do I have to notify any authority?
— K Vinoth Kumar via email
Any space used for a non-residential purpose may make you pay higher house tax by the corporation. Further, unless your area is notified as commercial or mixed zone, you cannot carry out such commercial activities. After you let out your space for non-residential purpose, and later if you want to reclaim the said portion even for your own use, then your request should be for non-residential reasons only. Therefore, make up your mind whether you want higher rent or peace of mind.
Buying a pain reliever with cannabis need not invite trouble
Various portions of cannabis are used in Indian medicine and Indian cookery. Even poppy seeds or khus khus (kasakassa in Tamil) is used widely in India. Recently, at a world conference, they have decided to remove cannabis from the narcotic list. You need not worry about being caught under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act for just buying a pain reliever.
I recently bought a hemp oil product online for pain relief from a company (name withheld). When I got the product, I could see that it contains cannabis and I have come to know that this could be considered a narcotic. As I paid using my credit card, I’m very much worried that I may be caught for buying drugs online. Please advise on what I should do? — Name withheld on request
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of Justice K Chandru, who is providing guidance and direction based on his rich experience and knowledge of the law. This is not a substitute for legal recourse which must be taken as a follow-up if so recommended in these columns