Homebuyer can approach both consumer panel and Rera: HC
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moved RERA, the case pending earlier against them before the consumer commission couldn’t be heard and needed to be withdrawn.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.”