Q: My sisterís husband has been missing since 1994. He had been a primary school teacher. Will she be eligible to get his retirement benefits? If yes, how should she proceed?
Minati Chatterjee, Calcutta
A: According to law your sister cannot claim her husbandís assets during his lifetime. But as seven years have passed since he went missing, she can ó as per the presumption recognised by law ó file a suit for the declaration of the death of her husband. Once the decree is granted she will be entitled to all his assets. Notwithstanding this, many organisations have their own by-laws on this. Your sister could first address her claim to the school through a letter and proceed legally after that.
Q:I was retrenched by the B.K. Birla Group of Companies. I lodged a complaint with the labour commissioner and the 8th Industrial Tribunal awarded me a lump sum compensation. The company moved the Calcutta High Court with a writ petition against me. I have appeared in person for two hearings and have been told to wait. How can I recover my dues at the earliest?
Rajen Dutta, Calcutta
A: You could file an execution case before the appropriate court according to the rules and provisions of The Industrial Disputes Act to recover your dues. If the company is unsuccessful in obtaining a stay order on the execution case and if its writ application is rejected, the recovery of your claim will be easier. Try to get the high court matter expedited.
Q:In our building there is a servantís quarter on the ground floor. The servant of the owner of the land stays there with his family. They have become a nuisance for other residents. I am told that only one person can stay in such a quarter and that he or she is not allowed to cook there or use the accommodation like a flat. What does the law say?
Amit Biniyani, via email
A: Though there is no codified law in this context, the principle of vicarious liability may be followed in such cases. This means that the master is held responsible for the acts of his servant during the course of his duty. Hence, in your case, all the residents could jointly address a letter to the person concerned regarding your complaints and apprehensions about his servant and his family and request him to stop the nuisance being caused by them.