By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: We received a consignment two months ago. The delivery was taken by our office assistant. When we opened the package, we noticed the goods were damaged in transit due to wrong handling by the carrier. They refused to compensate for the same. Is there any legal recourse?
Answer: According to Article 188 of the Trade Law, the recipient should examine the goods at the time of receipt and confirm their safety. If the goods are received without reservation, it forfeits the right of recourse to the carrier for damage or partial destruction or delay in delivery, unless the consignee proves the condition of the consignment and institute legal action against the carrier within 30 days from the date of delivery. The condition of the consignment shall be proved by the authority officials or an expert appointed by the court in case of urgency.
Terminating lease contract early
Q: After quitting my job, I have started a business in Doha with some of my friends. Unfortunately, the business was not as successful as we expected. We suffered a loss over the past few years. The partners have now decided to shift the company head office from Doha as the rent is unaffordable. We have a lease contract for office building which is valid until December 2019. We have requested the landlord for termination of contract, but the landlord is not agreeing for the same. Can we terminate the lease agreement through court stating our issues? Please advise.
A: For early termination of a lease agreement, the consent of both parties should be obtained. If the lease contract does not specify any provision for the early termination or other party refuses to agree on such termination, the parties to the contract may invoke the provision of the Civil Law of Qatar. According to Article 632 of the Civil Law, the lease contract may be terminated before the expiry of the period if unexpected circumstances arise in connection with either party which makes the continuation of the lease unduly burdensome to such party, the court may, on demand by such party and upon a comparison of the interests of both parties, terminate the lease and fairly indemnify the other party.
Joining new firmon new visa
Q: Can I join a new company on a new visa after cancelling my current employment visa even though my contract is still valid. I will not be joining any competitors. Kindly advise.
A: After cancelling current employment visa, the employee can return to Qatar on a new employment visa. As per Law No 21 of 2015, there is no restriction or ban in obtaining a new visa. An expatriate who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even the next day. Now there is no requirement of no-objection certificate from the previous employer for a former resident to take up a new job in Qatar.
Public officer asking for a gift
Q: I own a company which is engaged in sub-contracting works. I have approached a government department for clearing some documents related to a project. The officer in charge asked for some gift for clearing the documents. What action will be taken against a person holding public office who asks for additional payment for his service? Does the law prohibit bribery and what is the punishment? Please advise.
A: According to Article 140 of Penal Law, any public officer who solicits or accepts for himself or another party, any gift or privilege of any kind, or any promise thereof in return for undertaking any activity or abstaining from carrying out any activity under the remits of his office shall be considered as receiver of bribery; the penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding what he received or was promised shall apply to him, provided that it shall not be less than QR5,000.
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