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 citizen.dtnext@
Retd Justice K Chandru
Retd Justice K Chandru


Minor indiscretions at young age shouldn’t mar one’s future
I work with an MNC. After eight years of service, I am now being considered for a posting overseas early next year. I am now worried that when the paperwork starts for visa processing, the company may find out that I was in jail for two days during my college days for a minor misdemeanour. I was involved in a fight in college and booked by the police. I did not disclose this to my employers. Now I fear this will spoil my chances for a bright future. Is there some way I can get this removed from public record?
 –– K (name withheld on request), Perambur 
Your two days’ arrest is only a pre-trial custody. Obviously, the case would have been dismissed or prosecution would have withdrawn the case. This will not amount to any conviction. The Supreme Court in Commissioner Of Police Vs. Sandeep Kumar reported in 2011(4) SCC 644 has held as follows: “At that age young people often commit indiscretions, and such indiscretions can often been condoned. After all, youth will be youth. They are not expected to behave in as mature a manner as older people. Hence, our approach should be to condone minor indiscretions made by young people rather than to brand them as criminals for the rest of their lives.”
One can will away his/her property, but not one already lost 
I am a 75-year-old who retired from MTC 10 years ago. I had built a house with my savings which I left to my only son. Now he has pledged the house with the bank for a business loan, which he is unable to repay. He has defaulted on payments and I am worried that the bank may repossess the house and my wife and I will be on the streets because my son does not have the means to take care of us. Is there some way to change my will and leave the house to my wife?
 –– P Tukaraman, Kancheepuram 
Since you have given your house property as collateral security (given as a mortgage), you cannot do anything about the bank selling it by auction for getting their loan amount. At this stage, you writing a will in favour of your wife also will not have any legal effect. Further, a person can only will away his property, not a property which he might have lost.
Owner can move rent control court to evict tenant
I had rented out my flat to a young couple a few years ago. They came through a known contact and were newly-weds, so I didn’t do a background check or sign any agreement. A year ago, they stopped paying rent claiming loss of job. I waited for a few months but in vain. When asked to vacate, they instead started threatening me. The man has contacts with local police and politicians and dares me to go to court. Without a proper rental agreement, will moving court help? I did not give him any rental receipt and there is no document available except for their physical presence in my property. Can I legally vacate them?
 –– Ratan Kumar, Madhavaram
You can file a petition to evict your tenant before the appropriate rent control court. In that petition, you can seek for payment of arrears of rent. The court does not require as a precondition any rental agreement between the house owner and the tenant. Before filing a petition, you must give notice to the defaulting tenant.
RWA cannot claim ownership of parking lot
I own a three-bedroom flat in an apartment complex with over 500 homes. We have a registered residents' association, elected every year. When the builder handed over the project, he had provided some unallocated space for use as common parking. Last year, the association sent an email to the residents claiming to allocate the parking lots to desiring residents for a sum. When they did not get any response, they allocated the parking lots among themselves and ratified this decision in the next annual general meeting (AGM). Does this hold any legal sanctity? Will we be able to get it back if we approach the court?
 –– Ravi Prasad, Vanagaram
Neither the RWA nor the individual owners are the owners of any parking lot. It cannot be used for any other purpose other than the notified purpose. If the association uses the lots for any other purpose, action can be initiated against them by one of the owners.
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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