Interview with Sudip Mullick, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
The RERA Impasse
The legal validity of RERA has been the center of discussion ever since it came into existence. Sudip Mullick, Partner, Khaitan & Co. in conversation with Shubham Singh explains the legal implications of Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA).
In the current scenario for a real-estate buyer or investor what will be applicable- RERA or MOFA?
The on-going projects mandatorily have to register with RERA. The penal provisions of MoFA (Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act) rules are applicable up to the date of registration and thereafter RERA comes in force. The provisions of MOFA (State Act) which are inconsistent with the provisions of RERA are overridden by provisions of RERA (Central Act). However, the challenge is to coordinate and correlate the provisions of MoFA and RERA though RERA takes precedence over MoFA.
Under MoFA, a consumer can file criminal proceedings against a developer over non-compliance or project delivery issues. In my opinion, giving a criminal angle to civil offence is not appropriate. The overall remedy lies in civil proceedings. The jurisdiction of RERA starts from the registration of the project and there are penalties on the developer for non-registration of projects by the given date. Once the project gets registered under the Act, the authority is required to dispose it under 60 days. If it cannot, it is required to record its reasons for the delay.
For a registered real-estate project, the judicial jurisdiction belongs only to RERA and not any civil court. But a criminal complaint can still be filed by the aggrieved person, though not advisable.
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