Blow to builders: Bombay HC turns down plea against RERA
The HC was hearing a petition complaining that the authority was not properly constituted.mumbai Updated: Aug 01, 2017 11:43 IST
The Bombay high court on Monday refused to impose restrictions on the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) from taking coercive action against erring builders on a petition complaining that the authority was not properly constituted.
Senior advocate Virendra Tulzapurkar, who represented the petitioner, Mudassar Builders and Developers, submitted that the constitution of the authority in Maharashtra itself was illegal because it had not been made by the legislature but by an administrative order. He submitted that the constitution of the RERA was also contrary to settled law laid down by the Apex Court in as much as it is an adjudicatory authority, but does not include any judicial member.
The senior advocate took serious objection to the appointment of the RERA chairman and sought an interim order restraining the authority not to take coercive steps on the ground that the authority had the drastic powers of passing ex-parte orders against developers on the basis of a complaint filed by any person.
The division bench of justice Anoop Mohta and justice Anuja Prabhudessai, however, felt the plea was premature and based on a hypothetical situation.
The bench also directed the central government to file an affidavit in reply to the petition as also other petitions filed by DB Realty and Neelkamal Realtors challenging provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 making the enactment applicable to on-going projects.
Senior advocate Aspi Chinoy, who represented the developers, submitted that the offending provisions seek to rewrite almost concluded contracts, as in the case where the projects are almost complete, say up to 95%, the developer will not be able to comply with other provisions of the enactment. He said it will be highly unjust to saddle such a developer with consequential criminal liability.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, on the other hand, submitted that the central government was planning to move the Apex Court seeking transfer of all the petitions filed before different high courts challenging provisions of the 2016 Act to the Supreme Court. On his request, the bench adjourned further hearing on the petitions by three weeks.