In the world of real estate, proper regulation and compliance play a crucial role in ensuring the rights and protection of buyers. One such case that has caught the attention of the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) is the dispute between Lekh Raj Sankla, the complainant, and Genesis Infratech Pvt. Ltd., the respondent, regarding the "Genesis Flora" project. The project, located in Khasra No. 201 to 205, 314, 315, and 494/311 village Dagenhede Tehsil Tijara District Alwar, is mired in controversy as it remains unregistered and incomplete.
The complainant claims that despite entering into a Buyers Agreement with the respondent on 14.10.2015, the possession of unit No. B-802 has not been delivered as per the expected timeline. Seeking justice, the complainant demands a refund of Rs. 15,78,888/- along with an interest rate of 24% per annum against the total consideration of Rs. 17.20 lac. Let us delve deeper into the case to understand the intricacies involved.
The Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) was established with the aim of regulating the real estate sector and safeguarding the interests of buyers. One of the key requirements under RERA is the mandatory registration of real estate projects. This ensures transparency and accountability from developers, protecting buyers from potential fraudulent practices.
In this context, the Genesis Flora project, undertaken by Genesis Infratech Pvt. Ltd., has come under the scrutiny of RERA. The project's non-registration raises concerns about compliance with legal requirements and the rights of the homebuyers. The registration process, coupled with obtaining a valid completion certificate, is pivotal in determining the project's legitimacy and completion status.
Lekh Raj Sankla, the complainant, approached the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) under Section 31 of the Act, highlighting the unregistered status of unit No. B-802 in the Genesis Flora project. The complainant asserts that the project, despite being ongoing, has not been registered as mandated by RERA. Additionally, the complainant refers to the Buyers Agreement executed on 14.10.2015, which stated an expected delivery timeline of 36 months from the agreement date. According to this timeline, the possession of the unit was expected by 14.10.2018.
However, the respondent, Genesis Infratech Pvt. Ltd., failed to deliver the possession within the stipulated period, prompting the complainant to seek a refund of Rs. 15,78,888/- along with interest at a rate of 24% per annum. The complainant contends that the ongoing project falls within the purview of the retroactive application of the RERA provisions, entitling them to the claimed refund.
In response to the complaint, the respondent filed a reply, presenting their side of the story. The respondent argues that force majeure should be considered as an applicable factor, as unforeseen circumstances hindered the completion of the project within the agreed timeline. Furthermore, the respondent claims that the project is not incomplete and submits photographs as evidence to support this assertion.
The Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) carefully assessed the arguments put forth by both parties and examined the records to arrive at a fair judgment. The Authority refers to its previous direction in a similar case involving non-registration of a project, wherein it was established that the Genesis Flora project required registration. The respondent's contention that the project was already reported as complete to the Bhiwadi Integrated Development Authority (BIDA) on 25.04.2017 was deemed unsubstantiated, as the relevant document was not provided to the Authority.
Based on these considerations, the Authority maintains its stance that the Genesis Flora project remains incomplete until a valid completion certificate, issued by the competent authority and aligned with the sanctioned layout plan, is presented.
Partial Completion Certificate
During the proceedings, the respondent presented a partly completion certificate dated 14.05.2019 as evidence. However, it is important to note that this certificate only pertains to Block "A" and Block "D" of the project, excluding the complainant's Block "B". Consequently, this certificate cannot be applied to validate the completion of the complainant's unit.
Precedents and Refund Request
To support the claim for a refund, the complainant's advocate references relevant cases, including Pavitra Prashant and Suresh Bharadwaj, which have been decided in favor of the buyers. These cases further reinforce the complainant's entitlement to a refund based on the precedent set by the Kartar Singh case, decided by the learned Full Bench of the Authority on 14.06.2019.
Authority's Decision and Order
After careful consideration of the facts and arguments presented, the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) delivers its decision. The complaint filed by Lekh Raj Sankla is upheld, and the respondent, Genesis Infratech Pvt. Ltd., is directed to refund the deposited amount of Rs. 15,78,888/- along with interest.
The interest rate is calculated at 8.6%, comprising the highest Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR) of the State Bank of India (SBI) plus 2%. The interest is applicable from 14.10.2018, excluding any moratorium period notified by the Authority. The respondent is given a period of 45 days from the date of the order's upload on the Authority's website to comply with the refund directive.
In the event of non-compliance within the specified period, the Authority directs the Registry to initiate recovery proceedings under Section 40 of the Act. If the complainant files an application for execution within two years from the issuance of the order, the case will be transmitted to the concerned District Collector for further action.
In conclusion, the case of the unregistered and incomplete Genesis Flora project sheds light on the significance of proper registration and compliance with the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) guidelines. The Authority's decision in favor of the complainant reaffirms the commitment to safeguarding the rights of buyers and upholding transparency in the real estate sector. This case serves as a reminder to all developers and promoters to adhere to the regulations set forth by RERA, ensuring timely completion and delivery of projects, thereby fostering trust and confidence among homebuyers.
Note: The information provided in this article about Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RRERA) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or professional advice and readers should consult qualified professionals for advice specific to their circumstances. The information provided in this article is based on the Comp. No. RAJ-RERA-C-2020-3709 before the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority
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