Q: I got a new car in exchange of my old one from a renowned car dealer in Calcutta in December 2011. The dealer took away the original car papers and gave a written undertaking that the entire responsibility of the car would be theirs on and from that date. The form of the public vehicles department pertaining to the transfer of the old car was signed by me and handed over to them keeping the transferee’s portion blank. I am told they sold the car the following day. Yet, recently, I received two notices from the traffic department asking me to pay a fine for a minor traffic violation. Apparently, the car is still in my name. I am a senior citizen and all my efforts to pursue the dealer to get the ownership changed have not yielded any result. What should I do to get myself absolved from any problem arising out of the misuse of the car?
Dipak Chatterjee, via email
A: Since the car has been sold, you can send the dealer a legal notice mentioning your apprehensions and also requesting him to furnish you with copies of all the relevant papers of the new owner of the car. According to the law, you are entitled to get them. You can also inform the traffic department regarding the sale of your car to the dealer enclosing copies of all relevant papers, including the money receipt and the letter of undertaking given to you by the dealer.
Q:In 2010, my mother gifted me a third of her house on her own free will via a registered gift deed. Now, instigated by my elder brother, she has initiated a title suit disputing and praying for cancellation of the deed, saying that my husband and I took advantage of her illiteracy and forced her to make the deed. This, despite the fact that she had answered all the relevant questions asked by the registrar during the registration. What is the status of the title suit and what can the consequences be?
Moumita Banerjee, Calcutta
A: Since your mother is alive, she is legally entitled to seek cancellation of the deed on grounds of force, coercion or undue influence. But she will have to prove the allegations before the court. If the suit is contested, you could object to the allegations levelled against you irrespective of whether the gift deed stands cancelled or not. If the gift deed is declared void, the gifted property will revert to your mother. However, if the court rejects her application for cancellation, the gifted portion will remain with you.