Society cannot Terminate Development Agreement without MAHA RERA’s permission
By Legal Bureau Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha RERA) in a landmark order, protected home buyer’s money invested in redevelopment project and directed the builder & society to pay a penalty of Rs 15 lakhs for violating norms of RERA Act, 2016. Maha RERA was hearing the complaint of Kaushal Haria, Girish Chheda & Meghna Visaria and Velbai Haria who had booked flats in New Sangeeta CHS Ltd, Vidyavihar (E) in May 2016. The said project was a redevelopment project between society and builder Valdariya Constructions. The society in December 2011 appointed a builder as a promoter with registered development agreement for sale. In the meantime, a dispute arose between builder and society and matter went to Arbitration and the society terminated the development agreement executed with the builder. Authority in order said, “The termination of the development agreement executed between builder and society is after the commencement of RERA Act and this should have done with the permission of Maha RERA. Therefore, transferring the development rights is not valid as this project is registered with MahaRERA.” The Arbitrator allowed society for self redevelopment. The complainants were seeking interest for delayed project and handover the possession with a parking lot and all amenities. Society submitted the response before the court said, “The flat sold by the builder was illegal and it was sold below the market price. The complainants can seek a refund from the builder however they cannot seek an injunction against them.” Authority said under the provisions of section 2(zk) of the RERA Act, society is all the promoter of the project. Therefore, society is equally liable to the allottees who have booked their flats. Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, Member – 1/ Maha RERA ordered, “Considering the facts the complainants are the allottees of the project registered with Maha RERA and further directs society to join the complainants as its member within a period of 30 days from the date order.” Society is directed to give possession of their flats to the complainants by obtaining occupancy certificate, as the society has taken over the entire project for self-development as per the order of the arbitrator. In addition to this for violation of Section-15, the Maha RERA directs the builder and society to pay a penalty of Rs 15,00,000 to Maha RERA, the order said.