CHENNAI: My brother-in-law had a sizeable amount in his SB account with a nationalised bank. He died recently. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to register a nominee for his SB account. They did not have any children. With a lot of difficulty, my sister got the legal heir certificate and requested the bank to transfer the balance to her SB account with the same bank. But the bank insists on an affidavit along with the legal heir certificate. Is it correct? Can we bring the bank to court on the plea that they are harassing a widow with a strange rule?
— K Sasikala
The bank is entitled to ask for a indemnity bond as well as a legal heir certificate. It is not harassment by the bank and they will have to save themselves against future complaints.
My house was built in 1988-89 and during assessment, authorities fixed a higher tax amount for my house (door no.20) assessed at `906 and door no.19 was assessed at `250 door no.21 fixed at `310. All three houses have almost similar plinth area. When ordered for reassessment, authorities assessed my house at `902 and said tax was not paid yet. Based on this, periodical revisions were done and demand notices were given every year showing accumulated arrears and taxes not paid. No action was taken by municipal authorities. What is the legal remedy available for me to fix this?
— Parimalam Selvan, Puducherry
Most of the municipal laws provide for taxation appeal tribunal. You can file an appeal against the assessment of property tax. As against the order of the tribunal, you can also approach the High Court of Madras, in case the order is not to your liking.
Following the death of her son and frequent squabbles with her daughter-in-law, my mother-in-law requested me to make arrangements for a separate rented house in our vicinity. Since my brother-in-law’s death was unexpected, a lump sum money and government job were given to his wife. Is my mother-in-law entitled to any part of that money? Does she have any claim to money and property that belonged to her son?
— B Srinivasan
Your mother-in-law being Class I legal heir, under the provisions of Hindu Succession Act, is entitled to have half share in your deceased brother-in-law’s property.
In July 2019, I purchased a DTCP-approved plot measuring 800 sq ft at Thiruvallur from the landlord by paying full cash. I registered at Manavalannagar, got the sale deed and started construction of independent house. It is in the finishing stage. Should I apply for patta for my plot?
— Mohan S
Patta is a form of certificate given by the government acknowledging your ownership. It is advisable to apply for a patta from the authorities. Nowadays, the government has simplified the procedure where there is no separate application and with any registration of land property, the information is automatically passed on to the registrar’s office who in turn issues the patta.
Justice K Chandru is a former judge of the Madras High Court