Punjab and Haryana High Court raps RERA for ‘palpably wrong’ circular - ECAS Punjab

Punjab and Haryana High Court raps RERA for ‘palpably wrong’ circular

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30

Rapping the Punjab Real Estate Regulatory Authority for passing a "palpably wrong" circular during the Covid lockdown period for extending the term of projects whose registration had expired long back, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed its operation.

The Bench asserted that the circular "may even give protection to those promoters and builders whose registration may have expired long back".

The admonition by the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh came on a petition filed against the Union of India and other respondents by Vinod Kumar through counsel Nitin Gupta. He was aggrieved by circular dated May 13, whereby RERA extended by six months the validity period of registration of projects.

Appearing before the Bench, the counsel contended that ostensibly the circular was issued to give relief to projects whose registration was expiring by March 15. But even the term of projects, whose registration had expired long back, had been extended by six months by the virtue of impugned circular.

He contended the power to issue circulars/notifications of such nature vested in the state government and not in the adjudicatory bodies. He added many small-time home buyers were suffering as builders had stopped work under the umbrella of the impugned circular.

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Gupta asserted the present circular had been issued by RERA, whose primary function was to adjudicate upon the disputes coming before it. Though Punjab Additional Advocate-General Sudeepti Sharma had vehemently taken a stand in favour of the promoters/builders and submitted that fault could not be found with the RERA order, the court was not impressed by the argument.

Justice Gupta said the Bench failed to understand the need for passing an "omnibus order" giving protection to all projects in the state, particularly when the Act had a specific provision for entertaining applications on behalf of promoters/builders for time extension.

'Force Majeure' clause (regarding unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract) could undoubtedly be invoked for the purpose. But, the applicant approaching the RERA would have to convince the authority that circumstances beyond his control forced him to discontinue with the project. The case will now come up in September last week.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/38nM1wU

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