The Bombay high court on Monday asked the state government to explain the regulatory mechanism the state has put in place to address complaints from buyers who have bought properties in unregistered real estate projects. The HC directed the state to file its reply to a petition that has challenged lack of a policy to deal with conflicts that arise between buyers and builders in cases where developers have not registered their projects under the Real estate Regulation and Development Act of 2016.
Mohammed Zain Khan, a 30-year-old advocate residing in Kalina, who bought a plot of land in Lonavla had moved the HC to demand action against the developer for not registering a project under Rera. Advocate Nilesh Gala appearing for Khan submitted before a bench of Justices S S Kemkar and Nitin Sambre that section 3 of Rera requires all new and under-construction projects, which are yet to get completion certificate, to be registered under the Act and provides for penal action against builders.
Gala said a buyer cannot file complaints unless a project is registered.
Khan said he bought a half acre plot in 'Valvan Valley'. He said in August 2012, he and his mother agreed to purchase the non-agriculture bungalow plot for Rs 55 lakh and got allotment of the land after paying up Rs 12.5 lakh. But his petition said a year later, there was "to his shock" no sign of any construction activity. The developers, he said, requested for time.
In 2014, when he still had not been given possession of the plot, Khan accepted four smaller plots instead, in another project, also in Lonavla, from the developer. His grievance is that after Rera came into force last year, the developers did not register the project under the Act before the July 31, 2017 deadline. He thus wrote to MahaRera in November 2017 to inform that the project where the developers are constructing, marketing and selling luxury bungalows, was not yet registered. But no action was taken and hence, he was restrained to approach the HC, he said. He wants the court to direct the state to formulate a proper policy to deal with complaints received by MahaRera against unregistered projects. He also wants to know how many complaints the MahaRera has got about unregistered real estate projects.
The counsel for the state sought time and the HC asked a reply be filed in four weeks.