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Bring RERA authorities under CVC's ambit, homebuyers write to PM Modi

Buyers also want these officials be brought under the ambit of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and all orders to be subjected to an audit by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) to keep check on the adherence to RERA provisions

Representative image
Representative image

Homebuyers have brought to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the ‘derogatory statements’ made by some heads of RERA, who have termed the Act as ‘a badly drafted piece of legislation’ and ‘not a perfect law’.

“…we take strong exception to the blasphemous comments of some of the RERA Regulators, and urge you to take immediate action to stop any further damage to RERA. This is necessary to maintain public faith and also to stop vested interests in succeeding in their objective to malign RERA with the sole aim of getting it amended for the benefit of builders,” homebuyers said in their letter to the Prime Minister.

They called for a thorough investigation "to unearth the conspiracy and expose all those acting from behind the curtain in this campaign to malign RERA and thereby pushing for amendments in RERA.”

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The forum wants state governments of some of these regulators to issue showcause notices to the chairpersons or members of their state for exceeding their brief and their vicious campaign against RERA, thereby putting both Parliament and the government in bad light.

The letter points out that if RERA had been enacted earlier and the rules not been diluted by states “there would be no Amrapalis, Jaypees, or Unitechs. We should endeavour to ensure that it at-least it does not happen going forward.”

To instil confidence among homebuyers and to revive the real estate sector there should be “zero-tolerance for breaches in timelines,” it stated.

Buyers also want these officials be brought under the ambit of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and all orders to be subjected to an audit by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) to keep check on the adherence to RERA provisions.

“All proceedings of RERA, Appellate Authorities and also Conciliation Forum should be held under camera with a provision for live-feed. A link also link should be readily available on the website for public viewing to bring transparency and ensure fair play,” the letter written by Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE) said.

Homebuyers have proposed an audit be ordered by all state governments of the websites to see if it is as per RERA provisions and that it serves the purpose of transparency. The forum wants transparent in the levy of penalties while granting extensions to builders, along-with reasons as to why extension was allowed.

The forum wants all RERA authorities to be subjected to an orientation course, whereby they be counselled to stick to their brief and the ramifications of crossing those boundaries.

To avoid conflict of interest, homebuyers want all RERA authorities to be barred from attending events organised by either Naredco or Credai.

Buyers said “performance of RERA Authorities in the last three years has been lackadaisical, arbitrary and whimsical." They want the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs to circulate a note asking all state governments to only appoint sitting bureaucrats in place of retired ones, which may give better results.

With regard to statements made by some regulators that they did not have powers under the Act and that the Act needs to be amended, the letter said, “It is not the Act it is the intent that is the issue. Regulatory authorities have the power to impose penalties for non-compliance and to enforce its provisions.”

 

The forum pointed out that regulators (other than Odisha RERA) are reluctant to invoke section 63 of the Act. In the case of Hi-Tech Edifice Pvt, Odisha RERA had imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 per day for default in complying with the its order, totalling Rs 31 lakh under section 63 of the RERA Act.

Section 63 of the Real Estate Regulation Act states that if any real estate promoter fails to comply with or contravenes any of the directions passed by the authority, he can be held liable to a penalty for every day that may extend up to five percent of the estimated cost of the realty project as determined by the authority.

vandana.ramnani@nw18.com

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First Published on Sep 16, 2019 12:17 pm
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