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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 land law all about? What's it that property 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 signing one of 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

Rights of Employees according to the Indian Labour Laws

Avik Chakravorty

Employment Agreement  Employment agreement detailing the employment terms and conditions including compensation, place of work, designation, work hours, and so on is mandatory. The employer’s rights and obligations including non-disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets, timely payment, provident fund, and so on are clearly stated in an employment agreement. If a dispute arises, the agreement incorporates an effective mechanism for resolution of disputes.  Without a written employment agreement, the employee does not have recourses if a dispute arises.  Maternity Benefit  The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, has provisions for prenatal and postnatal benefits for a female employee. Owing to Amendments after 2017, the timescale of paid leaves for an expecting female employee has risen to 26 weeks, inclusive of eight weeks of postnatal paid leaves. If the pregnancy leads to complications like caesarian, premature birth then in such Read More

An Era of Performance Ushered in Enforcement of Contract

Avik Chakravorty

World Bank’s The Ease of Doing Business rankings; an annual release ranks India at 163 at the moment in enforcing contracts. The current Indian administration has been focusing on the performance of enforceable contracts in view of the fact that India’s overall contract performance has been deplorable lately the government is compelled to undertake several initiatives in the area of contract enforcement in particular.   The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (Contract Act) and the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (Act) are legislative watchdogs overseeing the implementation of contracts amongst parties. Although the Contract Act mentions the overall principles of contract administration and damages levied for violations thereof, it provides for awarding specific relief through the specific performance of contracts. The common law position of the Act originally provided for specific performance as relief granted at the discretion of the Courts once the inadequacy test results Read More

Live-In Relationship and Indian Courts

Avik Chakravorty

Introduction  Indeed the only thing constant in this world is change. The lifestyle of Indian society at large has drastically changed in the past couple of years. People are slowly but surely accepting the notion of pre-marital conjugal and live-in relationships. Nonetheless, this altered mindset arguably lacks legal validation and the society does not readily accept it either. In other words, the subject matter is under criticism and a hot topic of discussion.  In live-in relationships unlike marriage, a man and a woman remain unmarried but live with each other under one roof that may appear to be a married relationship sans the vow of holy matrimony. In other words, the relationship is more like cohabitation. In the Indian context, however, with the exception of marriage occurring between a man and a woman, all other exotic relationships are deemed illegitimate.  People opting for live-in relationships do so to find out whether they are made for or how Read More

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