Death Certificate, Legal Heir, Succession Certificate, and Indian Bureaucracy.

Death Certificate

After waiting for almost two, two, and a half months, I finally got mum’s death certificate last week. A part of me was saddened as it felt like I was nailing her or putting nails to the coffin or whatever it is, (even though I’m an Agarwal) I just felt sad and awful. I was told just get a death certificate and your problems will be over. Some people wanted me to give some amount under the table or something which I didn’t want to party of and because of that perhaps it took a month, month and a half more as I came to know later that it had been issued almost a month and a half back. The inflation over the last 8 years of the present Govt. has made the corrupt even more corrupt, all the while projecting and telling others that the others are corrupt. There had been also a few politicians who were caught red-handed but then pieces of evidence & witnesses vanish overnight. I don’t really wanna go in that direction as it would make for an unpleasant reading with no solutions at all unless the present Central Govt. goes out.

Intestate and Will

I came to know the word Intestate. This was a new word/term for me. A lookup told me that intestate means a person dying without putting a will. That legal term comes from U.K. law. I had read a long long time back that almost all our laws have and were made or taken from U.K. law. IIRC, massive sections of the CRPC Act even today have that colonial legacy. While in its (BJP) manifesto that had been shared with the public at the time of the election, they had shared that they will remove a whole swathe of laws that don’t make sense in today’s environment. But when hard and good questions were asked, they trimmed a few, modified a few, and left most of them as it is. Sadly, most of the laws that they did modify increased Government control over people instead of decreasing, It’s been 8 years and yet we still don’t have a Privacy law. They had made something but it was too vague and would have invited suits from day 1 so pretty much on backburner :(. A good insight into what I mean is an article in the Hindu I read a few days back. Once you read that article, I am sure you will have as many questions as I have but sadly no answers.

Law is not supposed to be partisan but today it is. I could cite examples from both the U.S. and UK courts about progressive judgments or the way they go about it, but then again when our people think they know better 😦 But this again does not help me apart from setting some kind of background of where we are.) I have on this blog also shared how Africans have been setting new records in transparency and they did it almost 5 years back. For those new to the blog, African countries have been now broadcasting proceedings of their SC for almost 5 years now. I noticed it when privacy law was being debated and a few handles that I follow on Twitter and elsewhere had gone and given their submission in their SC. It was fascinating to not only hear but also read about the case from multiple viewpoints.

And just to remind people, I am sharing all of this from Pune, Maharashtra which is the second-biggest city in Maharashtra that has something like six million people and probably a million or more transitory students, and casual laborers but then again that doesn’t help me other than providing a kind of context to what I’m sharing..

Now a couple of years back or more I had asked mum to make a will. If she wanted to bequeath something to somebody else she could do that, had shared about that. There was some article in Indian Express or elsewhere that told people what they should be doing, especially if they had cost the barrier of age 60. Now for reasons best known to her, she refused and now I have to figure out what is the right way to go about doing things.

Twitter Experiences

Now before Twitter, a few people had been asking me about having a legal heir certificate, while others are asking about a succession certificate and some claim a Death Certificate is enough. Now I asked the same question on Twitter hoping at the max of 5-10 responses but was overwhelmed by the response. I got something like 50-60 odd replies. Probably, one of the better responses was given by Dr. Paras Jain who shared the following –

“Answer is qualified Movable assets nothing required Bank LIC flat with society nomination done nothing required except death certificate. However, each will insist on a notarized indemnity bond If the nomination is not done. Depends on whims & fancy of each mind legal heir certificate,+ all” – Dr. Paras Jain. (cleared up the grammar a little, otherwise, views are of Dr. Paras.)

What was interesting for me is that most people just didn’t give me advice, many of them also shared their own experiences or what they did or went through. I was surprised to learn e.g. that a succession certificate can take up to 6 months or more. Part of me isn’t surprised to learn that as do know we have a huge pendency of cases in High Courts, District Courts leading all the way to the Supreme Court. India Today shared a brief article sharing the same and similar issues. Such delays have become far too common now 😦

Supertech Demolition and Others

Over the last couple of months, a number of high-profile demolitions have taken place and in most cases, the loss has been of homebuyers. See for e.g. the case of Supertech. A much more detailed article was penned by Moneylife. There were a few Muslims whose homes were demolished just a couple of months back that were being celebrated, but now just 2-3 days back a politician by the name of Shrikant Tyagi, a BJP leader, his flat was partly demolished and there was a lot of hue and cry. Although we shouldn’t be discussing on the basis of religion but legality, somehow the idea has been put that there are two kinds of laws, one for the majority, the other for the minority. And this has been going on for the last 8 odd years, hence you see different reactions to the same incidents instead of similar reactions. In all the cases, no strictures are passed either against the Municipality or against lenders.

The most obvious question, let’s say for argument’s sake, I was a homeowner in Supertech. I bought a flat for say 10 lakhs in 2012. According to the courts, today I am supposed to get 22 lakhs at 12% simple interest for 10 years. Let’s say even if the builder was in a position and does honor the order, the homeowner will not get a house in the same area as the circle rate would probably have quadrupled by then at the very least. The circle rate alone might be the above amount. The reason is very simple, a builder buys land on the cheap when there is no development around. His/her/their whole idea is once development happens due to other builders also building flats, the whole area gets developed and they are able to sell the flats at a premium. Even Circle rates get affected as the builder pays below the table and asks the officers of the municipal authority to hike the circle rate every few months. Again, wouldn’t go into much depth as the whole thing is rotten to the core. There are many such projects. I have shared Krishnaraj Rao’s videos on this blog a few times. I am sure there are a few good men like him. At the end, sadly this is where we are 😦

P.S. – I haven’t shared any book reviews this week as this post itself has become too long. I probably may blog about a couple of books in the next couple of days, till later.

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