Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us
Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru


NRIs can use POA to sell property on their behalf 
I have a property in Chennai. I have been in Singapore since the lockdown began and I may not return for another six months. I want to sell my property. I was told that I need to give someone in India Power of Attorney to execute the sale so that brokers and middlemen don’t profit from the deal. Can you please advise me on the process? 
­— Sivasankar(via email) 
A sale of property through a power agent is permissible. For that, you will have to sign the Power of Attorney in Singapore and get it attested by an Indian High Commission Officer and send it to your power agent in Chennai. He will have to present it before the jurisdictional Sub-Registrar (where your property is situated) and the POA will have to be adjudicated and accepted by their officer. Once it is taken on record and registered locally, then the power agent can sell your property on your behalf and your presence is not required. 
Child’s custody will be fixed with decision on divorce plea 
My wife is 10 years younger than me. We got married when she was 21 and I was 31. I helped her complete her education and she got a very good job in an IT company. We have a son. Three years back, she was posted to Europe on an assignment. Earlier, I would go and visit her, but this year, due to COVID, I could not visit her. I recently came to know that she has met someone else there and does not want to return to India. She told her parents that she intends to file for divorce. I have two concerns. 1) The flat I live in is in her name, even though I paid for it. 2) She wants custody of our son. I can’t let go of both. What should I do? 
— Name withheld on request 
Whenever your wife files a divorce application, the issues relating to property and custody of the son can also be resolved while hearing that petition. You have not given the age of your son and his present custody. Even otherwise the court will take it to account the “best interest of the child” before handing over custody to either one of you. In such a case, the other person will have a visitorial right. As far as the property is concerned, you cannot plead it is yours because it is in the name of your wife and no such benami set-up will be allowed in terms of the law. 
One can move consumer court to get refund from erring institute 
I joined a fashion institute in March 2020 to pursue a six-month course in fashion designing. I paid Rs 80,000 as fees and they promised me an internationally recognised certification. However, because of the lockdown, the course didn’t start. My wedding got fixed two weeks ago and I want my money back. However, the institute is saying they will start the course soon but they are not willing to refund. How do I proceed legally?
— Vijayalakshmi, CIT Colony 
File a complaint before the District Consumer Court alleging deficiency of service and return of the amount paid by you. 
Mourners were spared even when ban orders were in place 
Of late, there is a tendency to throw flower garlands from the dead bodies on to the street all along the route to the burning ghat causing inconvenience to pedestrians and vehicular traffic. The garlands placed on the dead body by well-wishers and relatives are considered to pay respect to the deceased. Throwing them on the road is not only disrespectful to them but also causing a nuisance to the public. Is there any law to prevent this activity and why police are not taking action? 
— K Srinivasan 
Carrying the departed soul to the cremation/burial ground is a practice no one can stop. Even during the police ban order on all processions, there is an exception given to the procession of the mourners. Over the period, certain practices get institutionalised and one such is carrying the body in a flower deck. People do extreme things during such occasions like dancing and throwing flowers in the streets and such things are done only after death and not during the lifetime of the person. Anyhow, such practices are on the decline thanks to the astronomical increase in the price of flowers. There are certain things for which there are no legal solutions. 
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 

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