Builders irked with imposed fines, lack of clarity about registrations under MahaRERA

Rujuta Parekh
Saturday, 5 August 2017

“Developer made payment through NEFT on August 1 to MahaRERA account. Vivian Trade Centre by Rohan Vilas Ambekar in Satara also faced a similar issue and has been intimated to pay the fine."

Pune: Several developers from Pune and other places in Maharashtra are disgruntled as they have been slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 for registering their projects under MahaRERA after July 31. They claimed that the MahaRERA website crashed on July 31, forcing them to register the next day. 

Developers had been provided a deadline of 90 days from May 1 to register their ongoing projects under the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA). However, on the final day of the deadline, ie July 31, the website is said to have crashed leading to delay in registration. 

Citing two cases from Satara, CREDAI Maharashtra President Shantilal Kataria said, “Kamala Chamber by Prithvi Developers in Satara received intimation on Thursday to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 within seven days. The developer tried to register since 11.30 pm on July 31 and make the payment online through debit card and online transfer but the same was refused. Therefore, the developer generated challan at around 12.15 am. Late date mentioned to make payment on challan was August 11.”

“Developer made payment through NEFT on August 1 to MahaRERA account. Vivian Trade Centre by Rohan Vilas Ambekar in Satara also faced a similar issue and has been intimated to pay the fine. Ambekar was trying to make online payment since 11.30 and received the challan at 2.18 am and payment to MahaRERA account was done through NEFT on August 1,” he said. 

He further stated that the website crashed and so the authorities should take a lenient view at least in cases of developers from smaller cities. 

“RERA was introduced in the Parliament in 2013 and the bill got approval from both Houses in March 2016. If it can take law makers more than three years to bring this law to see the light of the day, then how can the authority be so harsh to developers who due to technical reasons exceeded the three-month deadline for registration. Lenient approach is required towards such developers and the hefty fine should be withdrawn,” he said. 

A prominent developer in the city, on condition of anonymity, said, “We were slated to have all our projects registered and payments cleared on July 31. However, the website crashed and one project could not be registered. We had to register that project on August 1. When the news came out about the fine, we figured  we too will have to pay the fine.” 
CREDAI, Pune Metro, Secretary Ranjit Naiknavare said there is no clarity whether such projects will be registered after payment of fine. “The authorities have asked all to make the payments but there is no clarity on whether they will register the said projects thereafter. This seems a little unfair. Hearing should be given to genuine cases who faced technical issues before slapping a fine on them,” he said. 

He said while the number of such cases is not clear for specific cities, the cases are higher in smaller towns. 
An office order circulated by MahaRERA on August 2 stated, “All applications received after July 31 for registration of projects have violated proviso of Section 3 (1) of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.  Applications received on August 1 and 2 have defaulted in making the application in time. Therefore, on this ground their applications are liable to be rejected under Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act.” 

The order by MahaRERA further stated, “MahaRERA has decided to keep the process of registration of ongoing projects open. The Authority has decided that it may not be appropriate to outright reject the applications. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested under Section 50 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, MahaRERA has decided that it is better to give one more opportunity by charging Rs 50,000 as penalty payable within seven days of the receipt of this letter by making online payment. If the promoter does not agree to pay the penalty, his application shall be further processed as per the provisions of Section 5 (b) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016.” 

Developer sources claimed that the order states contradicting views as the authority has agreed to keep the registration process on, but called those who registered on August 1 and 2 defaulters. 

“Also, on one hand they are saying the late applications are liable to be rejected and on the other they are saying that it is wrong to outright reject the application and so a fine must be levied. However, it fails to provide clarity on whether the registration will be granted after payment of penalty,” the sources said.

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