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Edition: July - September 2018

Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 intends to address problems of home buyers and increase transparency in the real estate sector. The Act provides for speedy redressal of complaints and an appeal process. This is most relevant in light of the following cases, where, home buyers have spent years knocking at the doors of consumer fora at different levels.

In the case of Aditya Tomar Vs TDI Infrastructure Ltd & Ors., the problem faced by the consumer included non-delivery of possession, amounting to a deficiency in service. In 2009, the complainant had entered into an agreement with the builder and paid 95% of the total cost for purchase of a residential flat. The builder was supposed to handover possession in 2011. However, despite the lapse of more than a year, the builder did not hand over possession. Therefore, the complainant approached the State Commission of Haryana in 2012. After six long years, during which the builder had appealed before the National Commission, the matter was decided in favour of the consumer where the builder was asked to refund a sum of Rs. 32,10.788/- along with interest at  12%, and Rs. 1 lakh towards litigation costs.

In another instance, in the case of Sharad Srivastava & ANR Vs. Unitech Limited, the builder had cited force majeure circumstances for the delay in handing over possession. Again, after a period of more than 6 years, the National Commission decided the case by asking the builder to complete the project by end of December 2018 and pay compensation at 8% per annum on the entire amount paid by the complainant, till the date on which the possession is actually offered along with  Rs.25,000/- as litigation costs.

In the case of Srihari Gokhale & ANR Vs. Marvel Omega Builders Pvt. Ltd., the complaint was again about the non-delivery of possession, amounting to deficiency in service and delay in refund of the paid amount. Here again, it took more than 3 years for the matter to be heard and disposed of.

Similarly, in the case of Vidhya Ragupathy & others Vs Ittina Properties Pvt Ltd & Ors, where there were additional issues such as compliance with approvals and clearance regulations apart from non-delivery of possessions, it took more than eight years for the complainants to get justice.

From all the above instances, it is obvious that there are inordinate delays in getting the resolution and this acts as a deterrent and stops consumers from approaching the courts. 

The Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act provides for the Authority to hear and dispose-off disputes within 60 days and to record reasons in writing for any further delay. Thus, it is crucial for the states to effectively implement the RERA so that affected homebuyers are encouraged to approach RERA for the quick resolution.


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