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 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Multiplying litigation may not help in getting speedy relief
Question: My husband Gomathi Nathan, who was Tirunelveli Ward 8 councillor, immolated himself soon after registering our rental house in 2017. The house was damaged beyond repair in the process and I was forced to move out with nothing to be with my sons in Chennai. I was running a computer-cum-photo copy shop for nearly 28 years in Kokkirakulam. I don’t know anything about my husband’s dealings. After his death, someone broke open the shop and took all my personal belongings like Aadhaar, ATM cards, UCO Bank Pass Book etc, shop documents and computers and threatened me and my sons with consequences if we pursue the case of my husband’s death. I have to take care of myself and my elderly mother and the shop was the only source of livelihood. My pleas to the district collector and Chief Minister’s Cell to get back the shop went in vain. The police tried to close my case citing non-cooperation on my part. How can I go to the station when they call for inquiry at odd hours? What can I do to get back my documents and the computer centre back?
— T Kanagavalli, Pallikaranai
Answer: A perusal of your documents shows that you are not interested in me pursuing your case. Your FIR was registered as early as 29/11/2017, some five years ago. By now investigation should have been over. Though the police cannot ask you to come to the station after 10 pm, which is prohibited under law, nothing prevents you to be there during the daytime with the help of a lawyer. You cannot fight your case by remote control. Further, you have gone to the Human Rights Commission also. Multiplying your litigation will not help get any relief. Engage a good lawyer and fight your case in one court.
Co-owners’ consent must be obtained for constructing new flats
Question: We are one of the owners of a property with a 2/9 share. We had decided to construct a house based on the requirement of the owners. One of the applicants (this writer) approached the other two to sign the MOU since our bank (lender) had insisted on the same. The document does not imply money matters. It is only a text which notes the ownership details with the share details of the respective owners. But the other two owners are refusing to sign the document. Can they construct the house without our consent? As a joint owner, can we ask the builder to hold the project? Since our house is on the top floor, can they deny proceedings on this project without us if we need to put it on hold? — Baskar Seshadri, Mandaveli
Answer: With your 2/9 share, you cannot build a house/flat of your choice. Unless all other shareholders agree, you cannot develop the flat. Go for mediation before a trained mediator who may perhaps make everyone understand and go for joint development.