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  <%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 109 <%-- End Page Title--%>  

September 21, 2003 

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Your Advocate

This week your advocate is M. Moazzam Husain of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. His professional interests include civil law, criminal law and constitutional law. Send your queries to the Law Desk, The Daily Star. A panel of lawyers
will address your problems.

Q: We are three brothers and my parents are still alive. All of us are living in a joint family. My father has some landed property in the city. As the elder son I am managing all the family properties. Besides, I am also engaged in my personal business. Recently we have decided to become separate. But the problem is, my brothers are claiming that since I purchased the flat with the help of my father's money (which is not true at all), they have share in it and they are entitled to the flat. I told them that I have purchased the flat with my own money. So we are in a family crisis over the flat. Please advice me as to legal remedy.
Khondoker Mahbubbur Rahman,
Banani, Dhaka.

Your Advocate: The nature of your problem does not permit any remedy to be indicated at the moment. You have two other brothers but, as the eldest son, you are in the management of the entire property of your father. You have your own business as well. So far so good, but the family bondage sounds a note of discord around the flat purchased by you. The claim and counter-claim about the source of money the flat was purchased with is a development from within your family. There is an oft-quoted saying that the 'wearer best knows where the shoe pinches'. Your claim is that you have purchased the flat exclusively with your own money. Even if wrongly, your brothers have reservations and have already expressed their point of difference. This is absolutely a matter of personal assessment, conviction or belief of family members developed upon their own points of view. If there is any litigation over the issue the natural presumption will go against you and you will have to prove that it is exclusively your money with which you have purchased the flat. Precisely because, when the flat was purchased you continued as the manager of a joint family and arguably failed to maintain transparency at least so far as the purchase of the flat is concerned. I wish it had not happened. You ought to have taken as much care in handling your family fund as not to permit any scope for such sticky situation to arise.
Be that as it may, for the moment, I would suggest, since you claim that it is your property you sit tight and go on with your possession and enjoyment of the flat. In the circumstances you need not pre-empt action. If your brothers are serious in their claims let them take their actions and their actions, if any, will determine your way-out.

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