Lawfully Yours: By Retd Justice Chandru

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

CHENNAI: Registration of gift deed will reflect in Encumbrance Certificate

I am planning to hand over a property of mine (not inherited) to one of my nieces. Is there any monetary advantage involved, in the form of stamp duty, etc, in passing it on as a ‘gift deed’? Will my son be able to challenge it in court after my demise? My son now is working abroad and hardly takes interest in my welfare. Is there any way I can keep my act a secret from my son and my niece till my death? — Savithri Ammal, Ambattur

If the gift deed or settlement deed is executed to a near relative, then the stamp duty is relatively less. But the registration of such a deed will get reflected in the Encumbrance Certificate and anyone can have access to it from the dedicated website. If you do not want your relatives to know about the property transfer, then you can write a will in favour of your niece provided the property is exclusively owned by you. However, as it relates to immovable property, it has to be registered. The stamp duty is nominal and it will not be reflected in the encumbrance. It is only after your demise that your niece will get the will probated.

Separate meters can avoid supply getting snapped for others’ default

In a residential complex comprising many flats, if any one of the residents does not pay up water charges or water/sewerage tax, can Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) cut the water supply and block sewage lines for the entire complex? Does it not amount to denying facilities even to those who pay their taxes diligently? What is the way out if CMWSSB resort to such an action? How can the complex pre-empt such an action? — VS Jayaraman, Motilal Street, Chennai 17

Though the water supply to your complex could be through a single pipeline, each flat owner is charged water tax and water charges separately. If you want to avoid disconnection due to the default on the part of the flat owner, then you may have to go for separate water meters for each apartment and avoid disconnection.

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