Q: My younger brotherís wife left for her parentsí place taking her daughter, streedhan and other belongings along with her. She also took away two gold coins that my brother had received as gifts. Can he lodge a police complaint? Can he file for legal separation? Which court should he approach to settle this quickly? Can his wife claim compensation? If so, to what extent?
Chandan Mukherjee, Calcutta
A: Since the coins were received as gifts during marriage, it will be difficult to prove that they are not part of your sister-in-lawís streedhan. Moreover, the law entitles a woman to assert her right over all gifts received during marriage ó irrespective of who she received it from. However, your brother can lodge a police complaint putting the facts on record. He can also file for legal separation but that would be granted only if he can establish grounds of separation as provided by the marriage laws. You have not stated your brotherís religion and under which act his marriage was registered. Assuming that he is not a Muslim, he will have to file in the appropriate district judgeís court. If your sister-in-law does not have sufficient income, she can claim maintenance for her minor daughter and herself.
Q:What should be the distance between the position of a large advertisement hoarding and the boundary wall of a residential building? What is the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) law, section and rule in this context?
Rachit Jalan, Calcutta
A: Section 139(1) of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Building Rules, 2009, provides that the constructions of advertising signs and outdoor display structures shall be in accordance with the provisions in the latest edition of the National Building Code of India. You could also ask the KMC about this.
Q:My father died intestate. Can the title of my fatherís house in Calcutta be transferred to my motherís name? What is the process and how long will it take?
Avijit Chakraborty, Calcutta
A: Since your fatherís estate has been inherited by his legal heirs, the property can pass exclusively to your mother only if the other legal heirs transfer their shares in her favour by executing a deed of gift. Once all the paperwork is done, the registration can be completed in a day.