Q: I am a senior citizen and live on the top floor of a five-storey building in a co-operative housing society. We have neither an elevator nor any fire safety measures. The committee has not taken any step so far although we have paid a portion of the total amount required to install two lifts. Most of the residents of the third and fourth floors are not using their flats for fear of risk to their lives. How can we convince or compel the committee to act?
Dr Ranen Dasgupta, Calcutta
A: First and foremost, you should address your concerns to the secretary of the society in writing. If the society does not act on it, you may serve a legal notice. And as far as fire safety measures are concerned, you could also lodge a complaint against the committee with the director-general of the West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services and the local police station. The WBFES is empowered to take all the necessary steps in accordance with the West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950.
Q: My horoscope mentions my date of birth as November 22, 1932. But at the time of my admission to school my guardian had mentioned it as January 20, 1936, which has remained on record all through my service life with the central government. I took voluntary retirement on October 31, 1990. I wish to have my date of birth corrected now so that I can enjoy enhanced pension on attainment of 80 years of age as announced by the 6th Central Pay Commission. Is that possible? If yes, how do I go about it?
Mani Bhusan Purkayastha, Calcutta
A: You have waited too long. That apart, a horoscope cannot be treated as a valid proof of birth. Any application for correction of your date of birth at this belated stage may arouse suspicion and may be treated as contradiction of facts.
Q: I belong to a Scheduled Caste family and enrolled my name at the Employment Exchange in that category. I married recently and my husband belongs to the general category. Will I still be eligible for the benefits of SC quota?
Kamala Naskar, Kodalia, West Bengal
A: Yes, you will still be entitled to the benefits. There are several Supreme Court decisions which have opined that a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe woman who marries a person belonging to a general caste does not change her caste by virtue of marriage. Caste is determined by birth and does not change with marriage.