In a significant relief for home buyers, the Supreme Court declared that the allocation period of the housing unit would be based on the date of the builder-buyer agreement. The apex court also clarified that the date of project registration under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act-2016 (RERA) would not be fixed based on this time.
SC Announced Builder-Buyer Agreement as Allotment Date
The court tackled the controversy as to give RERA Act's recourse to an allottee is the only way to raise a complaint. By giving the two conflicting positions in law a harmonious construction, the apex court concluded that it is clear from the existing legislation that a choice or discretion is given to allottees if they want to initiate appropriate proceedings under the Consumer Protection Act or file an application under the RERA Act.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, no clause excludes a consumer's complaint about the alternative solution definition. Through this decision, the SC resolved the inconsistency between the supremacy of special legislation such as RERA and the interests of homebuyers.
It is an existing legal position that the remedies under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 are additional remedies, including those rendered available under any special legislation. The Act is a welfare law with the primary purpose of protecting aggrieved consumers. With the full implementation of RERA, developers organized to make it a body to address all real estate issues. Consumers have, however, continued to file their complaints via all legal forums, including consumer forums.
Venkatesh, Founding Partner, SKV Law Offices, stated that Section 79 of the RERA Act, 2016 does not disqualify NCDRC or the Consumer Forum by addressing complaints under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, from the jurisdiction of a civil court to join any suit or proceeding that the RERA is allowed to adjudicate upon.
The Apex Court declared its decision on legal precedents which states that, even though it has all the trappings of a civil court, the NCDRC cannot be considered a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Therefore, under the RERA Act or the Consumer Protection Act, an allottee has the power to begin suitable proceedings.
Only through the builder-buyer agreement, there will be a customer relationship with the builder. This legal document is very relevant since it shapes the parties' contractual obligations. It also lays down terms and conditions based on which both buyer and builder carry out their duties. The SC decision will assist a variety of purchasers in securing claim compensation. They have not been able to do this so far, as only a few developers have updated the dates of possession of the project under the RERA registration.
By: Shailaja K