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Complaint M & N Confusion in RERA Punjab

Real Estate Regulatory Authority which is RERA in short proves to be game changing legislation in Real Estate Sector of India even though it will take some time for the fruits to appear but definitely the way is forward without a doubt.  

When we say doubt it is more or less a confusion.  

The same can be said for application 'M' & 'N' for RERA Authorities in Punjab and Haryana Panchkula Authority.
 

RERA Punjab

Also Read-  DOES RERA COVER COMMERCIAL PROJECTS?

Let us first see the power of RERA Authority and Adjudicating Officer for RERA Punjab

M- Complaint under Section 31 of the RERA Act and Rule 36(1)

Section 31. (1)Any aggrieved person may file a complaint with the Authority or the adjudicating officer, as the case may be, for any violation or contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules and regulations made thereunder against any promoter allottee or real estate agent, as the case may be.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this sub-section "person" shall include the association of allottees or any voluntary consumer association registered under any law for the time being in force.

(2) The form, manner and fees for filing complaint under sub-section (1) shall be such as may be specified by regulations.

Also Read- FAQS RERA PUNJAB HARYANA PANCHKULA

 


N- Claim for Compensation under Section 31 of the RERA Act read with Section 71 and Rule 37 (1)

Section 71. (1) For the purpose of adjudging compensation under sections 12, 14, 18 and section 19, the Authority shall appoint in consultation with the appropriate Government one or more judicial officer as deemed necessary, who is or has been a District Judge to be an adjudicating officer for holding an inquiry in the prescribed manner, after giving any person concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard:

Provided that any person whose complaint in respect of matters covered under sections 12, 14, 18 and section 19 is pending before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum or the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission or the National Consumer Redressal Commission, established under section 9 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, on or before the commencement of this Act, he may, with the permission of such Forum or Commission, as the case may be, withdraw the complaint pending before it and file an application before the adjudicating officer under this Act.

(2) The application for adjudging compensation under sub-section (1), shall be dealt with by the adjudicating officer as expeditiously as possible and dispose of the same within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the application:

Provided that where any such application could not be disposed of within the said period of sixty days, the adjudicating officer shall record his reasons in writing for not disposing of the application within that period.

(3) While holding an inquiry the adjudicating officer shall have power to summon and enforce the attendance of any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case to give evidence or to produce any document which in the opinion of the adjudicating officer, may be useful for or relevant to the subject matter of the inquiry and if, on such inquiry, he is satisfied that the person has failed to comply with the provisions of any of the sections specified in sub-section (1), he may direct to pay such compensation or interest, as the case any be, as he thinks fit in accordance with the provisions of any of those sections.

Also Read-  RERA SALIENT FEATURES


Haryana RERA Authority was on track from day one but can't say the same about Punjab RERA Authority who just recently introduced a notification regarding nature of complaints meant before Adjudicating Officer whereby the refund and interest is not maintainable and the officer is only limited to compensation part regarding any of its grievances related to project.  

For better understanding of readers, here is the relevant part of the order : 
  
7.4 Role of the Adjudicating Officer in the context of complaint in form ‘M’ and ‘N’.

The matter was discussed at length and it was decided that the role of the Adjudicating Officer was limited only to the purpose of adjudication of compensation under Sections 12, 14, 18 & 19 of the Act. Refund of money deposited by a complainant, alongwith interest thereon, would not be treated as compensation; and hence, complaints in which the above relief was claimed were to be filed in form-M and be dealt with by the Authority or its Benches. The complainants would also be free to file a separate claim in Form-N before the Adjudicating Officer for compensation in Form-M for refund of amount deposited and interest thereon.

It was also seen that in a number of cases, the relief of compensation for harassment etc. was claimed in the complaint, but, was not pressed at the time of arguments. Therefore, if the relief of compensation was claimed in addition to the refund of the amount and interest thereon, the complainant would still be filled in Form-M; and if the point of compensation was actually pressed, the complainants would be advised to file a separate complaint before the Adjudicating officer for this purpose.

The Legal Branch should scrutinize the complaints received in accordance with the above decision.”

Also Read- RERA RETROACTIVE NOT RETROSPECTIVE

Now it leaves the Homebuyers rather consumers in fix who opted for RERA before Consumer Forum for the only reason of enticing 60 days window for disposal of the complaint.  

The real difficulty in implementing the notification is that it has been applied to the pending complaints and therefore the complaints are being returned by the Adjudicating Officer leaving consumers again in lurch. 

The Authority in harmony with Adjudicating Officer should have applied the notification prospectively rather retrospectively. 

The consumers or better we say complainants will loose time now and will have to start from all over again. 

The entire essence of time is defeated in this case adding to the concerns of home owners who have invested their hard earned money in the project. 

The controversy is just erupted now and it will take some time for it to settle. Though in RERA Act, there is a provision for Appeal through form 'L'. The litigants will surely consider moving to the appellate forum to make notification prospective rather than retrospective. 

Also Read- NO OC WITHOUT CC – PUNJAB RERA

The Appellate Authority of Punjab RERA sits in Forest Complex Sector 68, Mohali, 4th Tower , 3rd floor constituting of two members who are retired justice from Punjab and Haryana High Court.  

The Appeal is yet not been made online and has to be filed physically by submitting the paperbook at above mentioned address whereas for Complaints 'M' & 'N' , there exists online provision only. Register on Punjab Real Estate Regulatory Authority website and file the complaint by paying through online mode. 

India's Real Estate Sector for the first time in history has got its own exclusive regulatory regime to build transparency,  accountability, and discipline of fulfilling what is being promised and committed in the first place . 

The journey so far is simply fantastic bringing some path breaking judgements to shape up the real estate law in the region. 

 

Also Read- HOW TO CHECK WHETHER PROJECT IS REGISTERED WITH RERA PUNJAB


To sum up the order:
1 The role of Adjudicating Officer u/s 12, 14, 18, and 19 is only limited to the extent of compensation. 
2 The prayer for refund plus interest thereon not to be treated as compensation. Thus Adjudicating Officer can't decide claims of refund plus interest. Therefore form 'M' be filed before proper authority or bench. 
3 Form 'N' can still be filed along with form 'M' for compensation against the same relief as prayed in 'M' before. Therefore filing 'M' is a prerequisite to be filed before complaint 'N' , though 'M' can be filed individually as well. 
4 Even for compensation for Harassment,  mental pain and litigation costs lies before authority under complain 'M' only as seen in the paragraph as reproduced above. Thus only after it is allowed under 'M' , for compensation it has to be filed under 'N'. The last part of the order makes it utter clear. 
5 In short complaint for refund and interest lies with authority and compensation before Adjudicating Officer.

Also Read-  POPULAR PUNJAB RERA JUDGMENTS

Disclaimer : The post is only limited to personal opinion and experience of author.  Thus not to be treated as free legal advice or binding information on any legal aspect of RERA  to which it relates. 

For better clarification,  dial 99888-17966. 

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