‘Inaccurate reports have led to confusion’
The UP Apartment Act has been in operation since March 2010 and the Noida Authority has just modified rules, says officer on special duty
between March 2010 (when the act was implemented in UP) and June 2, 2014.
“This is nothing but an untenable attempt to save its own officers and the promoters who have violated the various provisions of the UP Apartment Act 2010 with impunity since 2010. The attempt is to press a reset button (implement the 2010 Act by covering up the past) after officials and promoters panicked following the spate of writs against authorities for violation of the 2010 Act,” says SK Pal, a Supreme Court lawyer.
Surprisingly, in several court cases, the Noida Authority has submitted that the Apartment Act is in operation from March 2010 in the city.
“Just because Noida adopted UP Apartment Act 2010 in 2014 does not mean that the Act will not apply for the period between 2010 and June 1, 2014. In other words, any buyer who bought a flat during this period the flagship Sector 93-A of Noida Region, will leave no stone unturned to escalate the matter before the higher/highest judiciary till our just demands are reasonably fulfilled and justice meted out.
From the reply tendered, I got a distinct perception that the exact modalities for implementation of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act of 2010, were still to be frozen, and therefore, the information given by the building department was not correct.
Further, when I informed the officer on special duty OSD (M) cum competent authority designate that I have with me, on account of my spearheading the consumer complaint can invoke Act 2010 for legal recourse. This announcement by the Noida Authority is misleading and once again supportive of builders as it presents a scenario in which all violations from 2010 to 2014 are out of the purview of Act 2010,” says Prakash PVS, the main petitioner in the Omaxe Grandwoods case in the Allahabad High Court. Prakash, in 2011, had for the first time raised the issue of grant of additional FAR to Omaxe by the Noida Authority in violation of UP Apartment Act 2010.
“In fact, the Authority accepted the interim order passed by the Hon’ble Court, restraining the builder from constructing villas as per the amended plan because the respondents failed to show that written permissions were obtained from the allottees of Grandwoods before approving the alteration of the declared plan as required under section 4 ( 4) of the UP Apartment 2010 Act,” says Pal. no: CC- 95/ 2009 before t he apex court in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), extensive backup material dating back all the way to March/ December 2003 wherefrom one can prove chronologically that, even in 2003, the substantive requirements of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act 2010 were, in spirit if not in letter, very much enshrined within the body of the various legal documents exchanged in such pre-historic period, I was asked to produce/ submit the same formally for review or further follow up.
While the Noida Authority CEO Rama Raman was not available for comment, the officer on special duty, Manoj Rai, blamed inaccurate media reports for the confusion over the date of implementation of UP Apartment Act 2010. According to Rai, the UP Apartment Act was implemented in Uttar Pradesh in 2010 and “it’s obvious that all development authorities, whether Noida or Ghaziabad, come under its purview since then.”
“It’s incorrect to say that Noida has issued a notification for the implementation of the UP Apartment Act from June 2, 2014. The said act is in operation everywhere in Uttar Pradesh since 2010. We have only modified the rules of the UP Apartment Act to bring clarity in the process of implementation,” says Rai. According to the Uttar Pradesh Apar t ment ( Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance Rules, 2011, the competent authority means the vice-chairman of the development authority. However Noida being an industrial development authority has a CEO as competent authority and not the VC. Similarly, Rules 2011 are about the Municipal Corporation, but in Noida, the Noida Authority performs the functions of the municipal activities. “So we have amended these minor provisions of the Rules, 2011 so that it brings more clarity to the implementation of the act,” Rai adds.
Asked if people could complain to the authority about any violation of building rules between March 2010 to June 2, 2014, Rai answered in affirmative and said, “I reiterate for everyone t hat nothing has changed on June 2, 2014, as the act was in operation in the state since 2010. When told to clarify why there was no information about modification of rules on the Authority’s website, Rai said that it would take some time as the board resolution had come just a few days ago.
However, Rai refused to comment on the three-year delay in the modification of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance Rules, 2011).