By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: What is the validity of privately written documents not authenticated by any notary or official authority in Qatar? What if the document in question is forced to be honoured by a legal heir?
Answer: According to Article 220 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Code, the privately written instruments/documents form shall be considered as issued from the person who signed it unless he expressly denies what is ascribed to him such as the handwriting, signature, seal or fingerprints. As for the heir or the successor, he shall not be asked to deny; it is sufficient that he takes the oath that he does not know that the handwriting, signature, seal or fingerprint belongs to the person for which he received the right. As for the person who would object to him by writing in a private form, and discussed its subject, his denial of the handwriting, signature, seal or fingerprint shall not be accepted.
Halving gratuity not legally valid
Q: Our company has introduced a new employment contract stating that those who are in managerial position shall be paid half of the gratuity at the end of the contract “Gratuity @50% relinquished”. They have justified it with loss and present conditions. We have been forced to sign the new contract. Is this clause valid under Qatar laws? Can we claim the benefits after our service? Please advise.
A: According to Article 4, any condition contrary to the provisions of Labour Law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void, unless they are more beneficial to the employee. So, the clause reducing the benefits into half is not legally valid. Labour claims have a short limitation period of only a year. Subject to the provisions of Article 113 of the Labour Law, the right to file a lawsuit for a claim of the entitlements accruing under the provisions of Labour Law or the service contract shall lapse by the expiry of one year from the date of expiry of the contract.
Forged document for laying claim
Q: In a civil case, the complainant has brought a forged document in the court to establish the claim. I have raised my objection to that as it is a forged one. What will be the procedure initiated by the court in such case? Please advise.
A: According to Article 207 of the criminal procedure code, if the court considering the case finds that the decision on the case depends on the contested document and that there is a reason to proceed with establishing the evidence of forgery, it may refer the documents to the Public Prosecution, and suspend the proceedings until the forgery is decided. The court may, if the decision on the forgery action is within its jurisdiction, investigate the claim itself and rule on the validity of the document. The court may also adjudicate the claimant of forgery to pay a fine of QR1,000 if a ruling or order of non-existence of forgery is issued.
Worker entitled to receive gratuity
Q: I have been working in a company since 2006 under contract for two years and later continued without a new contract. I have no interest in renewing my contract as I want to go back home. I would like to know whether I will be eligible for gratuity and return ticket if I resign. Do I need to submit any reasons for termination?
A: The contract got automatically renewed for unlimited duration with same terms and conditions as stipulated under Article 40. Having more than five years in service, the employee may terminate the contract by issuing a notice of termination of two months to the employer. No specific reasons for such termination needs to be submitted. The worker will be entitled to receive all his salary dues, leave wages, gratuity at a minimum rate of three weeks basic wages per year, in addition to his return air ticket.
Landlord refuses to accept rent
Q: What is the solution if the landlord refused to accept the agreed rent? The company has rented a building for three years and now landlord refused to accept rent. Now he is asking for a higher amount than the agreed one. But we have not amended the contract. It still remains the same. Can we approach the court for settlement? Please advise.
A: According to the rent laws, if the landlord refuses to accept the rent, the tenant may, within seven days of the date of such refusal, notify the landlord, by registered letter, that the rent is due to be received within seven days, and if the landlord does not accept such rent within the specified period, the tenant shall deposit the rent with the treasury of the Committee for Settlement of Rental Disputes, against no fees. This shall be considered as payment of the rent on the prescribed date. The deposit receipt shall be considered a document absolving the tenant from the value of the due rent to the extent of the amount deposited.
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