By Dr Nizar Kochery Doha
QUESTION: I have read about restrictions on the public on usage of water in Qatar for washing cars, etc. Please shed light on the law relating to polluting the water.
ANSWER: According to Article 254 of the Penal law, any person who purposely pollutes or spoils a well, public water supply, or any other water resource, or makes the water unusable in anyway shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding QR20,000. If the act was by mistake or out of negligence, the imprisonment shall not exceed six months or a fine not exceeding QR2,000 or both.
Q: I have been working in a contracting company in Doha for the last three years. Due to some reasons, I wish to resign from the company. In such a case, am I eligible for getting the end-of-service benefits? Does resignation or termination of employment contract affect the right to get benefits? Can I return to Qatar on any other visa after some months? Please advise.
A: The termination of the employment contract or resignation by the employee does not affect the right to be paid end-of-service gratuity. If the employee’s employment is terminated on any of the grounds mentioned in Article 61 of Labour Law, he will not be eligible for getting the gratuity. According to Article 54 of the Labour Law No. 14 of 2004, the employer shall pay gratuity to those employees with one or more years of continuous service and unless otherwise a higher rate is agreed between the employer and employee, gratuity shall be calculated @3 weeks’ basic salary per year of service. The employees shall be entitled to gratuity for the fractions of the year in proportion to the duration of employment. The employer should also arrange for repatriation of the employee within two weeks of the last working day and the employer should bear the expenses.
In case of cancellation of residency permit, the person will be able to return to Qatar to take up employment immediately after being granted a new visa. The new law abolished the former two-year ban on expatriates who want to come back. Now, an expatriate who has got a new contract to work in Qatar can come back even the next day.
Inability of witness
to appear in court
Q: I have filed a civil case and the court hearing is progressing. I don’t have much documentary evidence to prove my case. I have a witness, but now the witness is hospitalised as he has met with an accident last week. In such a case, what is procedure as per law where the witness is not in a position to appear for the hearing?
A: According to Article 282 of Civil and Commercial Procedure Law, if the witness has an excuse which prevents him from appearing and the court accepts this excuse, the court may travel to hear his evidence. However, if the court is constituted of more than one judge, it may depute one of its judges for this purpose. The litigants shall be invited to be present when this testimony is given. The court Registry shall make a minute of this testimony which shall be signed by the judge and the Registry of the court.
Q: We are staying in a portion of a villa and there are some pending maintenance works in this building. We have no proper contract with regard to the lease and we have requested the landlord to do maintenance work many times. But he has refused to do so. In such a case, who is responsible for maintenance of the building? If we vacate the premises do we need to carry out the maintenance? Please advise.
A: According to Article 5 of the rental laws, the lessor shall be responsible for maintaining the leased premises in a fit and usable condition. In the event that the lessor, after receiving written notification or where such notification has failed, fails to carry out such maintenance in a timely fashion, the lessee may, without prejudice to his right to revoke the lease or request a rent decrease proportional to the decrease in his aforementioned usage of the premises, obtain the permission of the Committee to carry out the aforementioned maintenance at his own expense and deduct the cost thereof from his rental payments.
However, as per Article 6, the right of the lessee to revoke the lease, reduce the rental payments, cease paying the rent, or extend the tenancy, shall be deemed to be waived if such lessee, without reasonable excuse, occupies the leased premises for thirty days from the date that such maintenance works are undertaken without resorting to the committee.
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