The Legal Metrology Organisation (LMO), under the food, civil supplies and consumer protection department, has proposed rules under the Legal Metrology Act, which will enable flat-buyers to complain against developers who sell them less carpet area than what was promised to them in the sale agreement for the property.
Rajiv Mishra, principal of Sir JJ College of Architecture and member of the committee that framed the draft for the amendment in the Legal Metrology Act, told HT how the introduction of new rules will help the common man. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
What difference will the proposed amendment to the Legal Metrology Act make to the common man?
The intention for introducing new rules is to come up with a methodology, using which the correct liveable or carpet area can be measured by the competent authority. The rules will authorise the Legal Metrology Organisation (LMO) to measure the area and book an errant developer if he is found to have defaulted under section 30 of the Legal Metrology Act.
What is the need for such rules, when other Acts are available?
It has been a general practice followed by all developers, to sell less carpet area than what was promised to the flat-buyer in the sale agreement. With this rule, they will be able to register complaints with the LMO. They can pay a nominal fee and get their flats measured. This will empower the common man with an efficient redressal system, which the state lacks at present.
Will the rules help to remove the ambiguity – between developer and purchaser – over measurement of carpet area?
Yes, since the measurements are not specified under any law at present. The carpet area claimed by the developer and the complainant always differ. With the introduction of the rule, the LMO will be able to certify the area, which will add weight to the case in consumer courts. Simultaneously, the LMO will prosecute the defaulting developer in the sessions court.
Will the rules also address the buyers’ common complaint, about plots being sold on built-up and super built-up area?
The Act speaks only of carpet area, and the developers will be made to follow the law. If the developer is caught selling as per the built-up area, he will be held accountable for violating the law.