Home­buyer can ap­proach both con­sumer panel and Rera: HC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Ab­hi­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: In a cru­cial rul­ing Delhi high court has held that home­buy­ers can ap­proach both the Na­tional Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion ( NCDRC) and Rera against er­rant builders as their ju­ris­dic­tions are “con­cur­rent”.

The court said pro­ceed­ings un­der the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, 1986 can be started by home­buy­ers (or al­lot­tees of prop­er­ties in pro­posed real es­tate de­vel­op­ment projects) against de­vel­op­ers even af­ter en­act­ment of the Real Es­tate (De­vel­op­ment and Reg­u­la­tion) Act, 2016 com­monly known as Rera.

Jus­tice Pra­teek Jalan, in the process, dis­missed a batch of pe­ti­tions filed by 62 builders and de­vel­op­ers across the na­tional cap­i­tal re­gion who had sought re­lief, ar­gu­ing that once a home­buyer moved RERA, the case pend­ing ear­lier against them be­fore the con­sumer com­mis­sion couldn’t be heard and needed to be with­drawn.

The real es­tate firms ar­gued that a home­buyer had no choice and could only seek re­lief from Rera or from a con­sumer com­mis­sion un­der the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, 1986. They main­tained that since Rera it­self gives an op­tion to an al­lotte to with­draw pend­ing pro­ceed­ings un­der CPA, the same needed to be fol­lowed in cases filed else­where af­ter Rera came into force.

How­ever, HC re­jected the ar­gu­ment and up­held a ver­dict of NCDRC, which said that the reme­dies pro­vided un­der CPA and Rera are con­cur­rent and the ju­ris­dic­tion of the fo­rums/com­mis­sions un­der CPA was not ousted by Rera.

Jus­tice Jalan also cited a re­cent Supreme Court rul­ing in this re­gard to stress that there was no scope for any con­fu­sion, reit­er­at­ing that par­al­lel cases against the builder could pro­ceed both un­der Rera and NCDRC for the ben­e­fit of the home­buyer. It said the re­la­tion­ship be­tween pro­ceed­ings un­der CPA and Rera had also been con­sid­ered by the apex court.

How­ever, the real es­tate firms claimed the SC rul­ing on them was not bind­ing since lit­i­ga­tion be­fore the SC was on ques­tion of op­tions avail­able to a home­buyer un­der Rera once a builder’s com­pany be­came in­sol­vent un­der the new In­sol­vency Code. But HC high­lighted that “is­sues aris­ing out of CPA pro­ceed­ings were also brought to the at­ten­tion of the apex court.”

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