September 6, 2022

SUCCESSION, TRANSFER, AND TRANSMISSION OF SHARES IN SOCIETY DIED INTESTATE BUT LEFT NOMINATION

SUCCESSION, TRANSFER, AND TRANSMISSION OF SHARES IN SOCIETY A peculiar case came up. The deceased a Hindu was a sole member of society. It was his self-acquired property. He dies suddenly without leaving a WILL. But the wife is a nominee. Out of wedlock, they have only one daughter who is major and unmarried. Wife applies for transmission of shares as per nomination. Shares are transferred by the society without any endorsement that it’s transferred in trust as a nominee or get succession certificate. Now this widow, gifts 50% share to her daughter. This happens when parties prepare documents without consulting a lawyer to save money on professional charges. I am saying this because the daughter has by succession 50% right in the property as a member died intestate without leaving a WILL. There was no need of executing the Deed of Gift. The twist is the case comes now, she applies for endorsement and transfer of 50% share ( which is otherwise there under the law) to the society. After several years Society takes opinion and now seeks a Succession Certificate. How far society is justified? We must first refer to bye-laws If there is a single nominee and if he demands payment of the value of Shares and interest of the deceased Member, in the capital/property of the Society, the Society shall acquire the same and pay him the value thereof as provided under the bye-law No.63. If, however, there are more nominees than one and if they demand payment of the value of the shares and interest of the deceased Member in the capital/property of the Society, the Society shall acquire the same and pay them value thereof as provided under the bye-law referred to above in the proportion mentioned in the nomination form. If no proportion is mentioned in the nomination form, the payment shall be in equal proportion. Bye-law 135 (v). The managing committee of the Society shall take necessary precautions to see that no injustice is done to any widow in the cooperative housing Society after the death of a Member before transferring the flat in her name. In such cases, Society shall verify the nomination form duly submitted by the deceased Member or succession certificate /heirship certificate obtained from the Civil Court under the Indian Succession Act 1925 or Will of the deceased Member duly probated by the Civil Court through the executor of the will. After verifying and taking legal guidance Society then only can take appropriate action within the time limit to avoid further legal complications. This procedure can be followed in all cases after the death of a Society Member Section 30 of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 provides that: Section 30 – Transfer of interest on the death of a member (1) On the death of a member of a society, the society shall transfer the share or interest of the deceased member to a person or persons nominated in accordance with the rules, or, if no person has been so nominated to such person as may appear to the committee to be the heir or legal representative of […]

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August 24, 2022

CAN THE COURT RESTRAIN THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO DISCHARGE ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES WHEN THE HEARING OF THE MATTER IS NOT OVER? DOES IT AMOUNT TO ENCROACHMENT IN THE TERRITORY OF AN INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONAL BODY? MAHARASHTRA SHIV SENA SPLIT AND CONSTITUTIONAL BENCH

“Of course, inasmuch as the power of altering every feature of the Constitution remains elsewhere politically, the Constitution is neither the ultimate ‘‘political’’ sovereign nor a legally unalterable and absolute sovereign. All constitutional and ‘‘legal’’ sovereigns are necessarily restrained and limited sovereigns. I thought and still think that such a working theory should be acceptable to lawyers, particularly as the dignitaries of State, including Judges of superior Courts, and all the legislators, who have to take oaths prescribed by the Third Schedule of our Constitution, swear ‘‘allegiance’’ to the Constitution as though the documents itself is a personal Ruler. This accords with our own ancient notions of the law as ‘‘The King of Kings’’ and the majesty of all that it stands for: The Rightfulness of the Ends as well as of the means.” Kesvananda Bharti’s case (AIR 1973 SC 1461) The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a Constitution Bench the petitions filed by the rival groups of Shiv Sena in relation to the political development in State of Maharashtra.  This is Breaking News today. Several questions are before Supreme Court which will now constitute five Judges Bench. I will not touch the same. But can Court by its order restrain any constitutional independent body from discharging its function under the constitution for which it is constituted? First, let us see relevant provisions. Part XV of the Constitution provides for elections. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.—(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution 1*** shall be vested in a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission). (2) The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President. (3) When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission. (4) Before each general election to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the first general election and thereafter before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause (1). (5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine: Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the […]

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July 21, 2022

Automated Cars, Electric Cars, Accident and Liability: Indian Laws

Autopilot aeroplane, the autopilot engine pulls the entire train. Surprising isn’t it! No human as a driver yet it flies, runs on the track, and even flies. Yes, with artificial intelligence this is possible. It’s already implemented. But today we will discuss only automated cars. Laws governing it and the liability in case of an accident. Tesla is likely to hit the roads in India. It’s an automated car. When it’s going to be part of our normal life, we must know what provisions of the law will be applicable to the crimes. In general Motor Vehicle Act, of 1988 is applicable to vehicles, licenses, crimes,  accidents, etc. relating to vehicles on roads. We will limit today’s discussion to the area of accidents by self-driven automated cars. What are the laws which govern accidents by automated cars? First, we will see legal provisions under the Indian Penal code: Accident in doing a lawful act.—Nothing is an offence which is done by accident or misfortune, and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution. Illustration A is at work with a hatchet; the head flies off and kills a man who is standing by. Here, if there was no want of proper caution on the part of A, his act is excusable and not an offence. Section 279 in The Indian Penal CodeRash driving or riding on a public way.—Whoever drives any vehicle, or rides, on any public way in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person, shall be punished with im­prisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Is offence cognizable under S279? The offence punishable under section 279 of IPC is a cognizable offence where the police have a right to arrest a person for an offence without a warrant, but such offences are bailable in nature and are triable by the Magistrate who is having the authority over the area wherein such offence has been committed. Now, what happens when an automated car meets with an accident? India: Motor Vehicle Act 1988 does not provide for an automated car. However, Section 2(9) says “driver” includes, in relation to a motor vehicle which is drawn by another motor vehicle, the person who acts as a steersman of the drawn vehicle. It means the person on the steering wheel is a driver and is an inclusive definition. But there is no provision for automated drivers. What is the difference between a vehicle and a motor vehicle? Vehicle means an Eligible Vehicle purchased by You being the vehicle specified on the certificate of insurance. Motor Vehicles means motor vehicles, tractors, trailers and other like property, whether or not the title thereto is governed by a certificate of title or ownership but does not include any vehicle or car operated on a rail or rails wither on or off […]

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June 29, 2022

GOVERNOR’S POWER TO CALL A SPECIAL ASSEMBLY MEETING FOR A FLOOR TEST :   Case Study Maharashtra Crisis:

Before going for a detailed discussion let us see Constitutional Provision related to the Governor in calling a Floor Test Article 174: Sessions of the State Legislature, prorogation, and dissolution (1) The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session (2) The Governor may from time to time (a) Prorogue the House or either House; (b) dissolve the Legislative Assembly  Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses (1) The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that purpose require the attendance of members (2) The Governor may sent messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor (1) There shall be a council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion (2) If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion (3) The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court Note : Article 174 of the Constitution authorizes the Governor to summon, dissolve and prorogue the state legislative assembly. Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet. The Governor can implement his own discretion when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt. Under Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers.  Though the Governor can exercise the above only as per Article 163 of the Constitution which says that the Governor acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. When the House is in session, it is the Speaker who can call for a floor test. But when the Assembly is not in […]

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May 26, 2022

CAN THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY COMMITTEE BLOCK ACCESS TO THE COMMON TERRACE?

 This is a very common dispute. Most of the time Committee decides on whims and fancies. Which is not permissible. If any untoward incident like a fire happens Managing Committee shall be liable for culpability. To start the discussion first we must know the provisions of Byelaws. When Terrace is a common area as per the official plan and agreement with promoter builders it’s a joint and several ownerships. Every society especially as we are discussing housing society is governed by Model Byelaws.  They are framed under the provisions of the Maharashtra Cooperative Society Act,1960 which is a Central Act. Now let us see the provisions of the model bye-laws. 3 xxi. “Open terraces” means terraces which are otherwise not in the exclusive possession of any of the Members. 3 xxii  “Common Areas and Facilities” means a.the land on which the building is located; b. the foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, main walls,roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stair-ways, lifts / escalators , fire escapes and entrances and exits of the building; c. the basements, cellars, yards, gardens, parking areas undemarcated / demarcated parking slots, and storage spaces; d. the premises for the lodging of janitors or persons employed for the management of the property; e. installations of central services such as power, light, gas, water storage and water heating, water harvesting, pump houses, refrigeration, air conditioning, generators, roof top solar devices, common antennas and mass communication and data sharing devices, f.the elevators, tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and in general all apparatus and installations existing for common use; g. such community and commercial facilities as may have been provided for; h. all other parts of the property necessary or convenient to its existence, maintenance and safety or normally in common use; Under Bylaw 67 (a) (xiv) members are paying for the maintenance of the terrace being a common facility. What society can do is to, regulate permission to use for functions under bye-law 168. Now moving further a law has been passed in Maharashtra namely the Prevention of Fire and Life Safety Measure Act,2016. Under this law, it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep up fire safety measures. In a matter before the division bench Once a person agrees to the sale/ purchase of a floor in a property, they bind themselves to joint access to common areas, its use, and enjoyment by way of such an agreement. Any obstruction caused that results in deprivation of essential amenities that are water, electricity etc. cannot be permitted and requires immediate intervention to rectify the situation as they have a direct bearing on the right to life of a human” All residents must have access to common areas’ | Delhi News – Times of India (indiatimes.com) In yet another case of Tasneem Dhariwala Bombay High Court Division Bench of Justice S.C Dhamadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel in identical facts held,  Such parties cannot be given any discretionary and equitable relief, much less [allowed] to obstruct a public body from performing the statutory duties and ensuring that there is free access to all persons to an area called terrace and, particularly, to take care […]

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