Varying Powers Of Officials Behind Delay In RERA Cases

Varying Powers Of Officials Behind Delay In RERA Cases

PUNE: Varying powers of MahaRERA members and adjudicating officials has meant that not all cases landing in the Pune office are suitably or fully acted upon, resulting in multiplicity of litigations or delay in administration of justice.

“The RERA Act has failed to improve on the previous law. It is just on paper and has become just another law. Without effective implementation, the law has become toothless,” Pune-based property lawyer, Amol Patil, said.

Ineffectiveness of the law has also not helped in boosting the confidence in the real estate market, which can be seen in the sales numbers. As per property consultancy firm Anarock, the market is yet to look up. The total sales of homes now stands at less than 50% of what it was at 2014-mid, it said.

“Although Pune is a reasonably mature market compared to other cities in the country, it is true that market is not back to the level of buoyancy that it was once at,” Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants told TOI recently.

The adjudicating officials in Pune, who come in from Mumbai for a couple of days every week, have powers to only deal with refund of money to flat holders in case of delay and/or non-rectification of defects and due to issues emanating from false information given by the developers.

“At Pune, we have adjudicating officials who have powers under Sections 12, 14, 18 and 19 of the RERA Act. Violation of other sections of the act are heard by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulation Act (MahaRERA) authority in Mumbai,” Gautam Chatterjee, MahaRERA chairman, said.

Real estate lawyer Advocate Harshal Jadhav of Harshal Jadhav and Associates said the RERA Authority can, by government notification, confer powers on the adjudicating officials by making them a member of the RERA. “This will help complainants in Pune seek true justice to the grievances they face with errant builders,” he said.

Till the time of going to press, Chatterjee did not reply to a follow-on query as to why justice cannot be administered at one place to make the law more effective.

Jadhav said if the adjudicating officials cannot adjudicate on Section 60 and 61 (also the most punitive sections of the law), “the RERA Authority should not direct such a case to them”.

He said if this continues, the complainants will have to seek two separate cases — one in Pune and other in Mumbai.

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