Facing RERA heat, Gurugram builders knock at CM’s door

Gurugram Police is caught in a tussle between, RERA, Gurugram Bench and powerful builders’ lobby as the former issued non-bailable warrants against top 18 developers of the country requiring the police to execute the warrants and arrest the developers, writes Pawan Kumar Bansal

The builders have sought the intervention of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, accusing the RERA, Gurugram, of harassing them and the Gurugram Police is in a dilemma as to how to act in the matter considering the sensitive nature of the issue. The issue is heading for a major confrontation between the developers and the RERA, Gurugram, which enjoys judicial powers under the Real Estate Regulatory Act, 2016, passed by the Centre to give relief to the home-buyers. The non-bailable warrants have sent a panic wave among the builders and they have shot an urgent letter to Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal seeking his intervention. Non-bailable warrants  have been issued by the Adjudicating Officer, Rajinder Kumar of the Gurugram RERA, Bench for violating his orders. The cases pertain to non-refund of the money and delay in handing over the possession of the flats in the promised period.

The non-bailable warrants have been issued in as many as 86 contempt cases filed by 86 complainants for non-execution of RERA court orders before the Adjudicating Officer.

To cite an example, the developer has not paid to the decree holder a sum as mentioned in the order of the adjudicating officer to his satisfaction. The RERA, Gurugram has accused  the developers of deliberately disobeying its orders.

Gurugram Police is to execute the non-bailable warrants against the developers who are big shots of the country enjoying considerable clout in corridors of the power. Kalaramchandran, Commissioner Police, Gurugram refused to comment on the issue.

Developers in their representation to CM, have levelled serious allegations against the RERA, Gurugram accusing it of harassing them, adding that it will lead to the collapse of building activities and all pending projects. It has sought his immediate intervention requesting for some “middle way” for tackling the situation as they are ready to pay refund money as ordered by the Adjudicating Officer.

This has put the CM in a very embarrassing position. As RERA enjoys judicial powers, hence he cannot intervene in the matter. While on one hand, the builders are pleading that even if they go to jail, the home-buyers will not get any relief as the pending projects will come to halt, on the other hand, RERA is bent upon getting its orders implemented.

S.P. Gupta, former chief administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority, Gurugram, said, “Orders of RERA must be implemented as it enjoys judicial powers and the developers are free to appeal against the judgement of RERA,Gurugram, adding that the CM has no role in the matter as it was not an executive order.”

Abhay Jain, advocate dealing with home-buyers cases at Gurugram and Panchkula bench dubbed the entire exercise as an eye wash. He said that RERA should adopt a practical approach while implementing  its own orders, adding that the  home buyers are running from pillar to post to get justice.

Parveen Jain, Chairman of National Real Estate Developers Council, convened an urgent meeting of developers to chart out the strategy .

The state government cannot intervene in the matter as the RERA Act, 2016 has added only the words developers, home-buyers and the property agents in its jurisdiction. Hence neither the  RERA, established under the Act can issue any directions to the concerned state government  nor can the state government interfere in its functioning.

Recalled that under the Act, two benches of RERA, one at Gurugram having jurisdiction of Gurugram district and the other at Panchkula having jurisdiction all over the state barring Gurugram were set by the Haryana government and the Gurugram bench is headed by K.K.Khandelwal, retired IAS officer of Haryana.