Experts say that until officers of the development authorities are held liable for non-implementation of UP Apartment Act, homebuyers will continue to be taken for a ride by the developers
The Allahabad High Court judgment in Supertech’s Emerald Court case was unprecedented as it had for the first time directed that the officers of the development authority face prosecution under the Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership & Maintenance) Act, 2010, for “colluding” with a private developer.
Legal experts and RWA members hope this will be a wake up call for some officials who don’t go beyond issuing notices to the developers against homebuyers’ complaints.
“The Act was passed in 2010, and its rules in 2011, to regulate construction activities in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and protect the homebuyers from fraud. However, in the last three years since the Act is in operation, no development authority in UP has made the effort to implement it in letter and spirit. Thousands of homebuyers would have been saved from becoming victims of fraud,” says Rahul Rathod, a lawyer in Noida.
The Allahabad High Court interpreted the Act in November 2013, upholding all of its provisions and directing all developers to submit declarations with the competent authority within one month from the date of approval of plans. No developer as yet has filed a declaration.
“A few months back, when I filed an RTI application asking the Noida Authority if it had implemented the act following the HC judgment, the reply was shocking. I was told that the Act was in operation and that the authority was in the process of preparing a code for the implementation of the act. I don’t think a separate set of laws has to be formulated to implement the Act. It’s just an excuse,” says Alok Kumar, president, Federation of Associations of Apartment Owners in Ghazabad.
Even the Ghaziabad Development Authority has not made any concrete efforts to force the builder follow the provisions of the Act.