Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

My rights regarding my uncle's house


My uncle used to stay on a property which was gifted to a Society by a wealthy person in early 1900's for the purpose of  running a Prayer Hall and a Dharamshala for people of community who travel to this city. When the property was gifted to the society it only had two structures, The Prayer Hall along with a couple of rooms and a separate kitchen. Later on a few more structures were added to the property which included my uncle's house also. My uncle expired in  February 2018. This Society was not registered till October 2018. The Society and the property belongs to a minority community and is situated in the state of UP. Recently the Society got into an agreement with some unknown persons to lease the property which includes my late uncle's house. The lease agreement is not registered yet but some kind of an understanding has taken place between the Society and Committee Members to demolish the structures on that property and then handover the land to the lessee. The reason for this is that the lessee did not wanted to get into any unanticipated litigation in breaking down the prayer hall himself. Also, according to him the open land would attract lesser stamp duty.

Due to a fall my uncle suffered in 2011 he had to be shifted to Mumbai for further treatment. He stayed in Mumbai at an old people home but craved to go back to his hometown and spend his rest of his life. Unfortunately in 2016-2017 he developed mouth cancer and it spread rapidly and he expired before he could go back to his hometown. Between 2011 and 2016 he use to go back to his hometown frequently to keep a check on the house and its belongings.

During his stay in Mumbai, in November 2017 my uncle's house was trespassed. A  local person known to the committee members stayed in his house for almost 2 days. We came know to know about this through locals almost after a couple of months. On enquiring with the committee members and threatening them with a police complaint, they accepted that the trespass did happen but they evicted the trespasser and put their own lock. They also assured that there would not be any future trespass under their watch. Hence, we desisted from filing a complaint with the police. When I visited that city in March 2018 I wished to open the door and check if any belongings of my uncle were missing. But no one had the keys. Due to paucity of time as it was a short trip I had no option then to put my chain and lock over the main door in order to prevent future break ins/trespassing. The committee was informed accordingly. I had also taken pictures of the lock and chain I had put along with me standing at the main door. Since then a status quo was maintained regarding my uncle's house.

My uncle stayed in this house as tenant for almost 17 years in. Interestingly though he was counted as a tenant his rent was accepted as donation. There were two reasons for the same. One, the house he was living in was not on the government records as no one in the old committee under whose watch this house was built bothered to make the changes in the original plan and get it approved from the government. Two, in absence of the above there was no official rental agreement signed between the Society and my late uncle. Despite of this, he had a telephone, water connection and other government documents made in his name where he had given this address. Interestingly my uncle's younger brother stayed in this house as a tenant in the same scenario as mentioned above for over two decades till he expired and my uncle shifted there. 

As mentioned above, the current committee members are hell bent on demolishing the house as they have to fulfill the promise made to the future lessee. They asked me to come and vacate the premise. But due to the ongoing pandemic I refused to go as it was very risky to travel. I informed them about this through two /letters/communications and also warned them not to touch even a single brick of my uncle's house otherwise I will go ahead and take legal action.

My questions are, as per the above mentioned details what steps can I take so that the house is not demolished without my knowledge. Can I issue a legal notice in the newspaper?? Also what other steps can I take to safeguard my uncle's house? What rights do I have as this house is officially not owned by the society with respect to the government records?

 

Thanks

 
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Practicing Lawyer 9918411669

Certain rights have accrued in your favour. Local lawyer will help you. 

 
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