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How is an NGO, a Trust and a Foundation Different?

Avik Chakravorty

From a legal standpoint, there is hardly any difference. An NGO or a Foundation cannot be registered. The legal viewpoint is that an NGO has one of three entities; its either a Public Trust or a Society or a not-for-profit organization or foundation. Under the Income Tax Act, all 3 entities are tax-exempt entities.  Both trust and society alike are two types of a non-profit or non-government organization in India. Therefore if anyone intends on doing social work and for this purpose needs a legal entity, then either a trust or a society can be registered. One can also register a company under section 25 but in most cases, a registered is a norm or society for benevolent work.  Trust is a comparatively simpler entity and can be easily registered and operated. Such organizations are fundamentally rooted in trust. Donations are purely based on trust that the donated funds would be fully utilized to serve the purpose mentioned in one’s trust deed. Trustees Read More

Why is RTI Amendment Bill So Controversial?

Avik Chakravorty

Although the Lok Sabha has passed and ratified The Right to Information Amendment Bill 2019 the Opposition is dead against it. Invectives like ‘dangerous’ and ‘dark day for democracy’ have been hurled against the bill. Changes have been suggested in regard to the terms and conditions of appointment of information commissioners at the center and state levels. The three provisions of the RTI amendment bill have been challenged by the members of Opposition in Parliament and by protesters in the field.  Nonetheless, prior to going forward, the basic things that the RTI Act of 2005 does is based on the existing law which says that the public authorities are required to disclose on  ·        their organization, functions, and structure ·        rights and duties of its officers and employees ·        financial data  If the Read More

Investments, Developments and the Road Ahead in the Indian Real Estate Industry

Avik Chakravorty

Introduction  The sector that has earned the optimal global recognition is the real estate sector. The real estate sector is comprised of four sub-sectors including housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The rapid growth of this sector can be ascribed to the equally rapid expansion of the corporate ecosystem coupled with the need for office space on-demand along with urban and semi-urban accommodations.   The construction industry ranked third among the 14 major growth areas of this sector is adequately complemented by the burgeoning corporate environment causing the demand for office space in regards to direct, indirect and induced effects across sectors of the Indian economy.  Speculations and predictions are rife that this sector could potentially attract NRI investments in both the short term and the long term alike.   Market SizeRetail, hospitality and commercial real estate are growing rapidly, providing the badly-needed Read More

The Nitty Gritties of Property Tax

Avik Chakravorty

What is a Property Tax? A government’s main income source is the levy of taxes, and as the government’s coffers fill up through earned tax revenues, the citizen’s access to resources is ascertained accordingly. Ownership of property is ownership of a taxable asset and the property tax is paid annually by the owner of a property or land to the government. Depending on government policies, this tax could be paid either to the state government or the Municipal Corporation.  The term “property” in this regard refers to real estate owned by an individual and is inclusive of houses, office buildings and premises on rent to third parties. Conceptually property tax is logical and sensible and has been globally acknowledged as is evidenced by the farmers and peasant’s records of their paying property taxes in the middle ages too.   Property Tax in IndiaTypes of Property   There are four major categories that property in India is Read More

What and how Property Lawyers do their job

Avik Chakravorty

What’s real estate law all about? What's it that real estate lawyers do and how do they do it? These are the queries that pop up in one’s mind as one gets initiated in the real estate business and the only way one can get answers to these questions is by seeking advice.  Oftentimes even after paying a couple of lakhs of rupees as a down payment on a flat, that is under construction the builder or developer does not start construction work on the plea that due to unforeseen circumstances, the construction work had to be withheld. A few months could very well have elapsed and the work may be pending.   At this point, the developer/builder may be asked by the homeowner to clarify matters. Once the seemingly lackadaisical attitude of the developer is noticeable heated arguments may ensue followed by threats of a possible lawsuit by the homebuyer. The threat of a lawsuit is a deterrent for the contractor/builder who may retaliate by waiving off suing rights by Read More

India’s arguably generous maternity law benefits merely 1% of its women

Avik Chakravorty

In India, working mothers-to-be are far better-of than most of their peers in the developed world, however, the country’s maternity laws are archaic. A year or two ago, the country passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill aimed at working women and their right to paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks which is the world’s third-highest.   There is a no-win situation nonetheless — the law is meant for companies with a headcount of at least ten employees which is just a minuscule proportion of the working women of India.This limitation in maternity benefits is an upshot of the desire of the elite of India to merely mimic policies that are both purposed and executed in the West, without any sort of fine-tuning suiting Indian conditions.   The maternity bill is an exemplary bill – phantom legislation that passes laws that don't have and in all probability will not be as effective as required. Progress or that one is doing something is an illusion, Read More

Mentally tortured husbands can appeal for granting of a divorce decree

Avik Chakravorty

In one particular case, the division bench permitted an appeal for granting a divorce decree in favor of the appealing husband for being tortured by the wife. The appellate judge may question the legality, validity and the propriety of the trial court’s judgment in which it had canceled the suit of the appellant or plaintiff for granting divorce decree of behavior torture and abandonment.  Submissions by the Appellant  The appellant-husband may submit that the wife who is the respondent was disrespectful towards his parents and told his mother that meals were to be prepared according to what's on her menu. Another declaration of the appellant could be that the wife of the Respondent had reverted to her parental home within days of marriage and upon repeated requests of her in-laws reverted to her in-laws and that’s when she began cajoling the appellant to live apart.  The appellant may state that even after having accepted all her demands, both her Read More

Landlord and tenant should know about the nitty-gritty of Keynote Tenancy Act 2019

Avik Chakravorty

Presumably the Model Tenancy Act, 2019 vis-à-vis rental housing will aid in the transformation of the legal perspective in its entirety throughout India and may also encourage private participation in this sector.  The newest draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019 is empowered in limiting security deposits for housing at two months’ rental and for other properties one months' rent.  In order to ensure that the rights and interests of both landlords and tenants are balanced and also ensure that there is adequate rental housing in India, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has formulated the Model Tenancy Act, 2019. The Finance Minister alluded to the fact that promoting rental housing on the part of the government would necessitate several reform initiatives including the finalization of a Model Tenancy Law replacing the archaic current Rental Laws that do not throw light on the linkage among the Lessor and the Lessee in a realistic and fair manner.  The Read More

All you need to know about the Consumer Protection Act 2019

Avik Chakravorty

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 ("Bill"), seeking to replace the erstwhile Consumer Protection Act of 1986 ("Act"), was ratified by the Lok Sabha on December 20, 2019, and it awaits approval of the Rajya Sabha. The Bill focuses on implementing consumer rights along with the timely and effective resolution of consumer disputes.  The crux of the existing Act includes goods and services that are considered exclusions are free and personal services. The Bill will widen the scope of the existing Act covering and regulating goods and services, including telecom and housing construction, as well as all modes of transactions inclusive of online, teleshopping, and so on for consideration. Newer concepts like 'product liability' aims at addressing the altering dynamics of the consumer markets.  The inclusion of new definitions like 'e-commerce' in particular, will seemingly widen the ambit of the Act to include the e-commerce sector in particular, which is excluded in the Read More

Women: Victims of Domestic violence

Avik Chakravorty

Domestic violence essentially is violent acts that a family or household is guilty of committing or it could be a solo act by a family member or a household against each other. In the ambit of domestic violence, the perpetrators are a child abuser as well as a wife-beater.   Any sort of physical injury may be caused to a family member or to a member of a household owing to some form of domestic violence. Domestic violence by definition includes all intended acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse.   Anyone regardless of age, gender, the financial or economic background can be victims of domestic violence. The behavior pattern of domestic violence includes attempts of scaring, physically harming, or controlling a partner so on and so forth. Domestic violence isn’t limited to physical violence rather it extends to mental abuse as well.  Types of domestic violence   Physical Abuse: Physical hostilities are Read More

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