Delhi HC Verdict: Buyers Can Register Complaints In NCDRC As Well As RERA
Stuck with a delayed project? Should you approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) or the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)? As per the Delhi High Court (HC), anguished homebuyers can take defaulting developers to both, RERA as well as the NCDRC. This comes as a big win for those homebuyers who have been split between whether to take the NCDRC route or approach the state RERA.
It was in February 2017 when the Supreme Court had set the record straight regarding homebuyers complaints by allowing individual buyers to approach the NCDRC collectively in case of a disagreement with a developer and if the cost involved is more than Rs 1 crore. Therefore, in many cases, groups of buyers approached the NCDRC. RERA on the other hand, allows individual homebuyers to escalate their grievances and of late has seen many favouring the state regulatory body. However, builders insisted that pending cases against them should be withdrawn from NCDRC in case a buyer registered a complaint against him in RERA. Justice Prateek Jalan has quashed 62 petitions from builders with such requests. The Delhi HC has ruled that cases can run in parallel because the jurisdiction of RERA and NCDRC is 'concurrent.'
Regulatory body’s take
Some time back, state RERAs had come together to raise a demand to prevent homebuyers to go to consumer forum against real estate developers or projects. According to the Chairman of Madhya Pradesh RERA, Anthony de Sa, “The real estate regulators take care of both aspects of protecting consumers interest and also how to complete the project, consumer forums only consider protecting the interest of consumers and pass orders for refund and compensation.”
Apart from this, RERA chief of Gurgaon bench of Haryana RERA, KK Khandelwal reiterated the body's latest statement, “Haryana RERA won’t allow any buyer to get a refund if a project is 40-50 per cent complete.”
The RERA chairpersons had also urged the housing ministry to amend the law which might also dilute the consumer rights, fear homebuyers associations. However, this is not the first time that the RERA authorities are being seen as anti-homebuyers. Earlier, UP RERA had asked homebuyers to come up with a financial plan to complete a stalled housing project in Noida. This would require pooling in extra money from the homeowners over and above the flat cost.