Friday, 6 November, 2009

Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007( Central Act 56 of 2007)

Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007( Central Act 56 of 2007)

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Central Act 56 of 2007 was implemented in the State of Kerala with effect from 29.08.2009 ‘Kerala Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules 2009’ also was promulgated on 29.08.2009.

Revenue Divisional Officers (RDO) are appointed as presiding officers of Maintenance Tribunal under the Act for each Sub-division. District Collectors are appointed as presiding officers of Appellate Tribunal for each District. District Welfare Officers are designated as Maintenance Officers for each District. Panel of Conciliation Officers as contemplated under Section (6)6 of the Act is yet to be prepared and published.

Section 4 of Act provides that a senior citizen or parent unable to maintain himself/herself may make an application for maintenance to the Maintenance Tribunal. Such applications are to be filed in the case of parent or grand parent against one or more of his children and in the case of child less senior citizen against the relative who under law would inherit his property. The application is to be filed in form No. ‘A’ appended to the Rules. The Tribunal may also initiate proceedings for maintenance suo moto. On receipt of the application the same has be referred to Conciliation Officer who has to hold meetings with the two parties. With in one month of receipt of the reference the Conciliation officer shall return the papers received by him with report of settlement formula if any arrived by him or with a report of the steps taken by him for a settlement.

If the Conciliation Officers reports settlement the Tribunal shall pass a final order in termsof the settlement. If no settlement is reported the Tribunal has to pass an order for maintenance making in to consideration the following aspects :

    1. Amount needed by the applicant to meet his basic needs,

specially food, clothing, accommodation, and health care;

    1. Income of the opposite party;]
    2. Value of and actual and potential income from the property, if any, of the applicant which the opposite party would inherit and/or is in possession of .

    The maximum amount that the opposite party may be ordered to pay is presently fixed as Rs 10,000/- ( Rupees ten thousand only)

    Provisions are also there for preferring appeal against the orders passed by the Tribunal.

    There is also bar for Lawyers for appearing for or against any of the parties before the Tribunal.

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Friday, 30 October, 2009

Power-of-Attorney For Registration Documents

Power-of-Attorney For Registration Documents

Section 32 of the Indian Registration Act requires that documents meant for registration are to be presented for the said purpose at the proper registration office. Documents are some times executed and signed by the power-of-attorney agents of the concerned principals and the same power-of-attorney agents present such documents for registration. On the other hand law permits a person to execute and sign documents personally and delegate an agent for presenting such documents for registration. In the first instance execution and registration of the document are by the same person – the duly authorized agent. In the second case, execution of documents is by the author of the document personally but the registration process is completed by an agent. In both cases authority is to be delegated by a duly executed power-of-attorney.

Now the question arose whether power-of-attorneys issued for the purpose of executing and registering documents are to be registered compulsorily. The Hon. Supreme Court of India in the judgment delivered in C A No.xxxx/2004 ( Rajni T Vs Dulal R G) decided on 29th July 2009 has finally resolved the said issue.

Hon. Supreme Court has made a distinction between the Power-of-attorney meant for execution and registration of documents and the power-of-attorney meant only for registration of documents already executed and signed by its maker and has made it clear that power-of-attorneys of the first category need not compulsorily be registered while power-of-attorneys of the second category are to be registered compulsorily.

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Plea of Cruelty in Matrimonial Cases

Plea of Cruelty in Matrimonial Cases .

    …unsubstantiated allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour by a husband against the wife in the Indian context do amount to matrimonial cruelty”

An India lady (wife) working abroad* approached Family Court in India seeking dissolution of marriage with her husband who also is in the same country*. The parties had contracted marriage in India according to Christian Rites.

Wife had made specific allegations of infliction of physical cruelty consequent to allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour. The wife alleged that the husband was making reckless allegations of pre-marital licentious behaviour and post marital adulterous and unchaste behaviour. The wife had been compelled and driven to courts in Switzerland to seek separation and police protection to save herself from the matrimonial cruelty allegedly heaped on her by her husband. Finally the wife approached Family Court in India seeking dissolution of marriage.

Husband also entered appearance before the family court opposing dissolution of marriage but at the same time repeating the allegations against the wife. However the husband could not substantiate his allegations before the Family Court. Even in Court the husband continued to make assertions of such licentious behaviour pre-marital and post-marital on the part of the wife ; but he did not even attempt to substantiate those allegations before court.

Family Court came to the conclusion that except the vague allegations of the husband there was absolutely nothing even to indicate, suggest or probabilise such allegations of improper marital conduct and behaviour on the part of the wife. The view taken by the Court was that unsubstantiated allegations of unchaste and adulterous behaviour by a husband against the wife in the Indian context do amount to matrimonial cruelty and dissolution of marriage under S.10 of the Indian Divorce Act was allowed.. The view taken by the Family Court was confirmed by the Hon.High Court of Kerala also. Cfr., 2009 (3) KLT 786.

Sunday, 29 March, 2009

The Kerala Law Reforms Commission

The Kerala Law Reforms Commission


The Government of Kerala undertook law reforms as a high priority item on the agenda of the Government and after detailed discussions with eminent persons in this regard the Law Reforms Commission for the State of Kerala was constituted on 26.11.2001.

The following eminent persons were the initial members of the Law Reforms Commission :

    1. Mr. Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer - Chairman
    (Former Judge, Supreme Court)
    'Satgamaya',
    M.G.Road, Ernakulam, Kochi-682 011

    2. Mr.Justice T.V. Ramakrishnan - Member
    (Former Judge, High Court of Kerala)
    'Anugraha, P.J.Antony Ground Road, Pachalam, Kochi-682 012

    3. Mr.Justice C.S Rajan, - Member
    (Former Judge, High Court of Kerala)
    'CHIT-KOD', House No.40/897,
    Ashramam Lane, Azad Road, Kochi - 682 017

    4. Shri. T.P. Kelu Nambiar - Member
    (Senior Advocate),
    Anamika,Karakkat Road,
    Kochi-16

    5. Shri .Varkala Radha Krihnan. M.P - Member
    'Rajendra,Thycadu P.O,
    Thiruvananthapuram.

    6. Dr. Sebastian Paul M.P - Member.
    376/D-Moonjappilli House,
    St.Francis Xavier Church Road,
    Kochi-18

    7. Dr. N.K.Jaya Kumar, -Member (Ex-officio)
    (Secretary, Legislative Assembly)

    8. Sri.P.S.Gopinathan, - Member Secretary (Ex-officio)
    (Secretary, Law Department)

The terms of reference of the Commission were as follows.

a. To rectify defects in the existing Laws.
b. To repeal obsolete or unnecessary enactments.
c. To consolidate, modify and reform the existing Laws.
d. To simplify or modernize the Laws.
e. To adopt new and more effective methods for the administration of the
Law.
f .To systematically develop and reform the law.
g. To provide training to the officers for legislative drafting.
h. To provide training for the legislators in the legislative process.
i. Matters to be implemented jointly by the Legislature, Parliamentary Affairs Department and Law Department regarding Legislation

j. Steps to be taken by various Government Departments regarding legislation.
k. Other matters to be considered in the field of legislation in the new world order.

l . Other matters referred to the Commission by the Government within its period, regarding Law reforms.

Thirty more members were later on included in the Commission. The Commission submitted its report to the Government on 26.01.2009 . The Report has mixed reactions and some of the proposals have staunch opposition from many quarters .

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