1 Can you help us understand the documents that are required to apply for a Patta? Is Patta a mandatory legal document that we need to have?
R J Raman
Patta application will have to be accompanied by the title deeds to the properties, including any sale deed if it has been purchased recently. The Tahsildar to whom the application is made will make a scrutiny of the village land records and after obtaining reports from the Revenue Inspector and the Village Administrative Officer, will pass an order either for grant of Patta or rejecting the same. Aggrieved persons can file an appeal against his order to the Revenue Divisional Officer and thereafter to the District Revenue Officer.
Patta is not a proof of title for the property. However, for various transactions, it is required and demanded by revenue and other authorities.
2Even if a person has temporary health issues that prevent him from wearing a helmet, is it a must for him/her to wear a helmet when driving motorbikes?
The Motor Vehicle Act has conferred power to the State governments to grant exemptions from the requirement of law. However, the State government has not granted any exemption regarding the helmet wearing rule. The lawyers’ attempt to seek exemption for women from the rule was rejected by the High Court. It is attributed to the French Queen Marie Antoinette that she seems to have told the poor that if they do not have bread to eat, “Let them eat cake”. Likewise, the vehicle owners with temporary health problems will have to hire autorickshaws or taxis.
3Police usually give only a ‘complaint receipt’ when we lodge a complaint. Is that legally okay, or should police register an FIR for all complaints?
After the Supreme Court judgment in Lalitha Kumari’s case (2013), the registration of an FIR in case of a complaint disclosing a cognizable offence is mandatory. Notwithstanding the same, the local police dilly dally in registering an FIR and after persistent demand give a CSR (Community Service Register). An aggrieved person can always approach the higher police officers, failing which they can move the High Court with a petition under section 482 of the CrPC.
4 A telecom company has sent notice via District Legal Services Authority to settle a long-standing dispute between us over a bill payment by asking me attend a Lok Adalat/mediation. Is it mandatory that I should attend the Lok Adalat on the day mentioned? Or it is my prerogative not to attend the Lok Adalat?
Under Section 20 (3) of the Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987, only if both parties agree to compromise the matter can the Lok Adalat pass an Award. You may be well within your right not to appear before the Lok Adalat and in which case no ex-parte decision can be given by it as is being done in the regular courts. However, the Lok Adalats have been vested with the same power as that of a civil court and they can if necessary force your attendance before it. In essence, you can take the horse to the pond but cannot make it drink.
5If there are unannounced power cuts, can a customer sue the electricity board for compensation?
If you are able to prove that the service rendered by them is deficient, you can claim a compensation. However, there are numerous lines of defence available to the TANGEDCO to defeat your claims.