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LEGAL FAQS

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter mixes with male friends and visits nightclubs frequently. She does not listen to our advice in this regard. We are apprehensive about her safety. What is the legally permissible minimum age for consensual sex?

Name withheld

A: According to the 2013 amendments to the Indian Penal Code, the age of consent for consensual sex is 18 years in respect to the provisions relating to rape as well as those to kidnapping of minor girls.

Q: According to my late fatherís will, I am to inherit his two-storey building absolutely except one room and an attached bathroom that have been left to my brother for use during his lifetime. My brother, a US citizen, has no ownership rights. His residing rights, including his heirsí, cease after his death. The will has been probated. In whose name would the mutation be under these circumstances?

Asok D., Calcutta

A: Although your brother has inherited only life interest in a portion of the property, he is a co-sharer. Hence the mutation can be in both your names.

Q: We want to let out our co-operative flat in New Town, but the managing committee is not allowing us to do so saying that co-operative flats cannot be let out. Is there any such bar? If not, what is the procedure to rent out or sell these flats?

Amitava Mazumdar, Calcutta

A: According to the co-operative laws in West Bengal, you may let out or sell your flat but only with prior intimation to and approval from your co-operative society.

Q: I am 70 years old. I have a piece of ancestral property, mutually partitioned in 1976 through a registered partition deed and allotted to the co-sharers (close blood relatives). I want to sell my portion at the current market rate but my co-sharers have declined my verbal offer. The deed has a clause that no party shall have the right to sell their allotted portion to any outsider and it will have to be enjoyed by them and their heirs. Where do I legally stand now?

Name withheld

A: If such a clause is there in the deed, you are bound by it unless you can successfully challenge it as being opposed to public policy, as provided in the Indian Contract Act. Nevertheless, you could send a letter of offer to the co-owners as a last attempt.