Q: My mother, a pensioner, is being ill-treated by my brother and sister-in-law. They live in a house built by our parents. My brother claims that our father had willed the immovable property to him before his death. If the will has indeed been executed keeping us (three sisters) in the dark and without our consent, can we challenge it to get our share?
Anusri Bhattacharyya, via email
A: A will is the testamentary disposition of the testatorís wishes regarding the distribution of his assets. Hence the testator can make a will without the consent or the presence of the legal heirs. However, you can challenge the genuineness of the will on appropriate grounds when your brother applies to the court for its probate. If the probate is not granted, only then will the legal heirs be entitled to their shares according to the laws of inheritance.
Q: I have recently bought a flat in Calcutta. I have got it registered too. Do I need to get a mutation done? What are the benefits of mutation?
Sabir, via email
A: Mutation is the process of putting on record the name of the new owner or occupant of the premises. Once it is done, property tax bills will be issued in this personís name. In case of any discrepancy or tax-related issues, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will entertain applications only from the person in whose name the tax bills are issued. Hence, mutation is essential.
Q: A landlord has sold subplots leaving private roads between them (land records attest that). My father had purchased one such plot about 50 years ago. We have easement rights for one private road, which is a blind alley. About 25 years ago, one neighbour constructed a septic tank encroaching on the road. What is the legal remedy against this unauthorised construction?
Saktinath Mukherjee, Chandannagore, West Bengal
A: To file a suit, especially one for an injunction, time is of the essence and the urgency of the applicant has to be shown. You have waited too long. Though under such circumstances one can file a civil suit in a civil court seeking permanent mandatory injunction upon the defendant. In your case the suit may be barred by limitation in keeping with the Limitation Act.