It is ‘essen­tial’ to en­force apart­ment acts

Com­pat or­der a ‘wake-up call’ for builders, say ex­perts; Haryana Apart­ment Own­er­ship Act, 1983, should in­cor­po­rate cer­tain fea­tures of the UP Apart­ment Act 2010

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Van­dana Ram­nani

The Com­pe­ti­tion Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal (Com­pat) re­cently up­held a ` 630 crore fine on re­alty gi­ant DLF im­posed by the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia ( CCI) in 2011 on a com­plaint that it had im­posed ar­bi­trary and un­fair con­di­tions on buy­ers who had booked apart­ments in Be­laire, Park Place and Mag­no­lia projects in Gur­gaon. This is a ‘wake-up call’ for de­vel­op­ers who have vi­o­lated laws and mis­rep­re­sented facts to buy­ers.

Re­alty ex­perts say that the or­der will send a strong sig­nal to builders, forc­ing them to ad­here to the rule book. Vaib­hav Gag­gar, part­ner at law firm Gag­gar & As­so­ci­ates, says that the Com­pat or­der should serve as a warn­ing for builders as they can now be pe­nalised for mal­prac­tices. They will now have to be care­ful be­fore tak­ing a chance by vi­o­lat­ing laws and mis­rep­re­sent­ing facts to buy­ers.

De­spite laws be­ing in place, lack of im­ple­men­ta­tion and aware­ness cre­ates prob­lems. As au­thor­i­ties are turn­ing a blind eye to the le­gal pro­cesses these are not get­ting en­forced. Con­sumers need to be­come more vig­i­lant, he says.

Wel­com­ing the ap­proval of guide­lines for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the UP Apart­ment Act 2010 re­cently, Gag­gar adds that go­ing for­ward the Haryana Apart­ment Own­er­ship Act, 1983, should also in­cor­po­rate cer­tain fea­tures of the UP Apart­ment Act 2010.

It is for the first time that the UP Apart­ment Act 2010 has cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that once fixed, rates of apart­ments can­not be changed. The Haryana Apart­ment Own­er­ship Act, 1983, has no such pro­vi­sion.

Un­der the UP Act, sanc­tioned plans and ap­provals have to be in place be­fore the launch, a cat­e­gor­i­cal pro­vi­sion that the Haryana Act does not have.

Pro­vi­sions which Haryana could bor­row from the UP Act in­clude im­pris­on­ment in case of cer­tain vi­o­la­tions by pro­mot­ers; and im­po­si­tion of mon­e­tary penalty on apart­ment own­ers if main­te­nance is not paid on time or any amount due to them is not paid.

The 2011 rul­ing by the CCI had held DLF guilty of vi­o­lat­ing Sec­tion 4 of the Com­pe­ti­tion Act, 2002 af­ter the Be­laire Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion ap­proached it al­leg­ing “abuse by a dom­i­nant en­ter­prise”.

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