The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has imposed a Rs 50 lakh-fine on Piramal Realty for violating the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016. The real estate developer failed to add MahaRERA’s website address in an advertisement published in a national daily. It also carried the project's registration number on the second page of the ad instead of the first that too in "very small" font size.
An order passed on Thursday by MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee read: “...on the front page the promoter has not mentioned MahaRERA registration number at all. The registration number is mentioned on the 2nd page in a very small font/print. In the full page advertisement, the MahaRERA registration number is not accompanied by the website address of MahaRERA.”
“Section 11 (2) of RERA states that the advertisement or prospectus issued or published by the promoter shall mention prominently the website address of the Authority, wherein all details of the registered project have been entered and include the registration number obtained from the Authority and such other matters incidental thereto,” the order stated.
MahaRERA took suo motu action and warned the builder to ensure that such violations are not repeated. It accepted the developer’s contention that the violation had taken place unintentionally.
“[The developer] accepted the alleged violations of the provisions of the Act but stated that the same are totally inadvertent and they did not have any intention to show non-compliance towards the provisions of the Act or rules or regulations made there under. They offered unconditional apology and requested of not imposing any penalty for the alleged violation. They have further provided an undertaking that no such violation of the Act would happen in the future and the promoter will strictly comply with the provisions of the said Act, rules, regulations and orders/circulars issued there under,” the order by the regulator read.
MahaRERA accepted the contention of the promoter that the violations of the provisions of the Act happened unintentionally. Therefore, under the provisions of Section 61 of the Act, the promoter was directed to pay Rs 50 lakh as penalty and was warned to ensure that such violations are not repeated.
Piramal Realty refused to comment on the order.
In March, MahaRERA had levied fines of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh on 8 developers in Mumbai for advertising their real estate projects without mentioning the authority’s website address.
One of the builders, Tridhatu Morya, was fined Rs 10 lakh for advertising a non-registered project. Other developers such as Sumit Group, The Wadhwa Group, Ipsit Project, Jyoti Builders, Parinee Building Properties, Haware Properties and Karrm Infrastructure were fined Rs 2 lakh for advertising real estate projects without mentioning the authority’s website address.
"It is good that MahaRERA is now acting tough on promoters by levying penalties for violation of RERA provisions. It is very necessary that strong signals are sent to Real Estate industry that RERA is here for implementation and that they should not take it lightly. This will in turn ensure that good practices are followed and malpractices becomes things of the past. However, penalties should be levied on the promoters commensurate with the offence committed which is why the relevant sections under Chapter VIII has not prescribed any fixed quantum of penalty," said Abhay Upadhyay, President of the Forum For People's Collective Efforts, and member of the Central Advisory Council, RERA, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Govt of India.