If orders of the realty regulatory authority are not obeyed, home buyer can be jailed

NEW DELHI: A home buyer can be jailed (up to one year) if he does not obey orders of Regulatory Authorities or Appellate Tribunal. The provision of imprisonment for home buyers has been included in the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2016. While the bill was recently passed in the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha passed it on Tuesday.

Buyers have criticised the provision, saying they are the aggrieved lot in fight against developers in most of the times. Often, they are forced to move to court or regulator when left with no choice. So, the provision of one-year imprisonment can be used by the powerful lobby of developers to further harass the buyers. “This provision will make buyers think twice before moving to the regulatory authority against the developer,” said Sanjay Singh, a home buyer in Noida Extension.

However, consultants and developers pointed out that such provision will hardly ever be invoked against the buyers as in most of the cases, being the aggrieved party, they only move to court or adjudicating authorities for resolution of grievances against the developers.

In majority of cases, developers move against the buyers for non-payment of dues. Therefore, if the intention of the buyer is not bad, such harsh measures like imprisonment would not be warranted, said a real estate consultant.

But inclusion of the provision of imprisonment could be useful to deter the blackmailers, who use the legal provisions to harass stakeholders like developers and fellow buyers, said Credai (NCR) president Manoj Gaur, who is also CMD of Gaur Sons. Such behaviour of errant buyers leads to delay in projects, he added.

While the bill is largely consumer-friendly, it also defines the rights and duties of an allotee, said Sanjay Dutt, MD of Real estate consultancy firm Cushman and Wakefield. The penalty provision would give an equal footing to both parties involved in a real estate transaction, leading to higher accountability in the sector, he said.

Credits ET Realty

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