Mumbai: In a respite to the residents of the Wadala-based New Cuffe Parade apartments, the Bombay High Court has ordered the Adjudicating Officer or the judge of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) to decide if the provisions of the RERA law be invoked against Lodha developers in the case.
A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel recently passed an order, disposing of a petition filed by the residents led by Sanjay Phulwaria.
The residents had challenged the orders of the Adjudicating Officer of the MahaRERA, who had referred their complaints to a full bench of the tribunal.
The residents have urged the tribunal to bring this New Cuffe Parade project under the purview of RERA law and be subjected to the rigour and discipline of this enactment.
While challenging the orders that referred their complaints to a full bench, the residents argued that the Adjudicating Officer has the exclusive powers to decide their complaints and that formation of a full bench was unnecessary and uncalled for.
Also appearing in the matter, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni justified the formation of the full bench. He argued since the issue involved is whether RERA applies to projects which are incomplete or in progress prior to the enactment being brought into effect, or whether it can be extended to projects, or parts of projects, that have been completed before the RERA came into force, formulating a full bench was important.
AG Kumbhakoni urged the bench not to interfere in this ‘administrative’ matter of the MahaRERA tribunal.
Having heard all the sides, the judges said, “We are of the opinion that the rights and equities can be balanced by keeping all courses open for the parties and at the same time ensuring that the adjudication in the complaints is not delayed.”
“Therefore, we direct that the Adjudicating Officer take up the complaints for adjudication in accordance with the law. He has to consider all the objections to his jurisdiction and issue a reasoned and speaking order,” they judges said.