Q: A critically ill woman was allotted a flat in our co-operative housing society. On humanitarian grounds, she and her husband were allowed to occupy the flat even before completing the formalities. The childless woman died before she could submit the application for membership and nomination. The husband also passed away soon after. It has been more than a year and no legal claimant has come forward. What should we do with the flat now?
A: According to the West Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, a deceased member’s share or interest, in the absence of a nominee, shall be transferred to a person who produces legal documents of his succession as legal heir. In the absence of such a person, the board can transfer the share or interest to a person who is qualified to be a transferee. In your case, since the lady was not even a member, the co-operative society can transfer the share or interest in the flat to any person qualified for such membership under the provisions and rules of The West Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, 1983.
Q: My childless widowed sister had willed her flat to me. After her death, I applied for probate in November 2010. Even after the completion of all formalities, including publishing a notice in the newspapers, there has been no hearing so far. I am a senior citizen and witnesses of the will are octogenarians. How do I expedite the process?
Sankar Choudhury, Calcutta
A: From what you say, it appears that the procedural aspects have been completed and your probate case is nearing conclusion. The next date will be for final hearing when you will have to depose before the court along with the attesting witnesses. Thereafter, the court is likely to grant you the probate. Nevertheless, you could file a “put up” petition expressing your urgency through your lawyer to expedite the date of the final hearing.
Q: Is an unregistered 11-month leave and licence agreement valid in a court of law in the context of an eviction suit? If not, what is the procedure to get it registered?
Joydeep Ghosh, Calcutta
A: An unregistered leave and licence agreement for a period of less than a year is valid in a court of law. It does not require registration unlike a lease deed of immovable property where the period is one year or more.