Occupation certificates cannot substitute completion certificates, says RERA’s Haryana chief
Homebuyers allege that the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has been diluted and it has become ‘toothless’.gurgaon Updated: Jul 09, 2018 14:35 IST
The setting up of a regulatory body for the real estate sector had come as a hope for the thousands of homebuyers who had been waiting for their promised dream house as well as the developers who were engaged in litigation and facing other issues with the government. However, as the homebuyers are now alleging the dilution of the original law and calling the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) ‘toothless’, the Haryana chief of the real estate of regulator, Dr Krishna Kumar Khandelwal, assures that the body has a vast jurisdiction and is competent to deal with all issues. Excerpts from an interview.
Q: What has RERA achieved in since the inception in Gurugram?
A: Jurisdiction of the body is a major issue. Last Thursday, I pronounced a judgment after hearing arguments of a complainant (homebuyer) and the respondent (developer) regarding two vital issues. While the argument was underway, the respondent said RERA did not have jurisdiction in the matter since his project was not registered with the body. I have passed a detailed order on how the RERA has vast jurisdiction over all incomplete projects. The order is yet to be made public. But it will have far-reaching impact on the real estate sector. This order will bring relief stakeholders in all projects, old and new.
Q: Do you think RERA is as strong a judicial platform as consumer forum or courts?
A: I think RERA has a vast jurisdiction over matters concerning promoters, homebuyers, agents and others. It is fully competent to deal with all kinds of issues.
Q: Several developers get exemption from registering with RERA by only obtaining an occupation certificate. Have you been able to address this issue?
A: The perception that an occupation certificate can get promoters exempted from RERA is wrong. Many promoters had applied for occupation certificates, thinking that they will be exempted from registering with RERA. Some promoters have even offered possessions in incomplete projects to evade registration. We receive such complaints daily and are addressing all such cases.
Q: How will you resolve the problems of lakhs of homebuyers who had been given possession of incomplete flats and incomplete projects?
A: We have issued directions to promoters to settle their issues with homebuyers in 90 cases in the past five months.
Q: How many projects are delayed in Gurugram? How will RERA help complete them in a time-bound manner?
A: All the projects that obtained licence from the Town and country planning (TCP) department, Haryana, and have not obtained completion certificates should be considered delayed. However, one must understand that an occupation certificate cannot be a substitute for a completion certificate.
Q: Homebuyers have been alleging that the Central RERA Act was diluted by the Haryana government. What’s your view on it?
A: As I mentioned earlier, my 27-page order has the answer to this question. I reiterate that promoters and developers must consider the fact that an occupation certificate cannot be used a ground to evade RERA registration.
Q: How is the experience so far? How many complaints have you received and how many of them have been disposed?
A: So far, the RERA office has received approximately 500 complaints. Of them, 90 complaints have been settled between complainants (homebuyers) and respondents (promoters). We have issued detailed orders in connection with three complaints. Five months is little time to judge RERA’s performance. It took us two months to set up office, recruit people and update the system. We have a good young legal team, which assist complainants.
Q: Why RERA is not online?
A: We are working on it. I believe it will be available in the next 15 days.
Q: Have you identified list of projects that have not been registered with RERA?
A: Yes, we have issued notices to all such promoters to register their projects with us. Most of them have applied for OCs with the interim RERA authority and assumed exempted.
Q: Do you plan to raise awareness regarding the issues pertaining to real estate and RERA’s role?
A: In 2017, we engaged with the public to create awareness about RERA. We have a plan to meet RWAs and homebuyers’ bodies to create awareness once our website is up and running. We have also planned to hold workshops in August.
First Published: Jul 09, 2018 14:34 IST