The Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HRERA) has held that it has the power to adjudicate on projects that were on before the RERA Act came into force and were, therefore, not registered under the regulator.
The verdict will have wide ramifications on the real estate sector in Haryana as it will bring into RERA’s ambit even those projects where the builder had applied for an occupation certificate before HRERA rules were framed.
The Panchkula bench of the authority has ruled that a builder can’t escape its jurisdiction even if the completion certificate was issued before the rules were framed.
The Panchkula bench, headed by its chairman Rajan Gupta, passed these orders last week while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by Madhu Sarin and 23 others against the BPTP project in Faridabad. It held that the flat buyers’ agreement was one-sided and unequal and directed the developer to pay compensation along with bank interest from the date of delay till the possession was offered. ‘Allotees won’t be liable to pay GST’
The Panchkula bench of the authority held that the allotees would not be held liable to pay GST. The complainants had purchased apartments in the project between 2009 and 2011.The agreements of sale were executed in February 2011 by the company unilaterally, they alleged. They approached the bench after the builder issued possession notices in March 2018 and sought an additional Rs 13.05 lakh as escalation cost.
One of the counsels for the complainants, Sudarshan Thakur, argued that possession should been given in 2013, but was made five years later in 2018. Also, against the basic price of a flat of Rs 26.64 lakh, they had already paid Rs 30.50 lakh which included internal development charge (IDC) and external development charge (EDC). And yet the builder was demanding an additional Rs 13.05 lakh.
Thakur argued that after prolonged delay, the demand of additional amount in the form of escalation cost, VAT, GST, electrification, sewage treatment plant, power backup, club membership and under other heads was arbitrary. He sought directions to pay them compensation for delayed possession.
Contesting the allegations, the builder stated that the demand was according to the agreement and that HRERA had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as the agreements were executed much before the HRERA Act and rules came into force.
However, the HRERA bench held that it had complete jurisdiction to decide the dispute and upheld most of the arguments of the complainants.