The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) member Vijay Satbir Singh, in its order passed in June this year, has slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day over non-compliance with a direction passed in 2020.
The order of penalty states that the respondent (developer) was directed to refund the entire amount paid by the complainant (buyer) towards the consideration of the said flat, along with interest, as prescribed under RERA and the relevant Rules made thereunder within a period of 2 months. If the developer fails to do so, he is liable to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day of default till actual compliance with the said order. The said penalty amount will get doubled per day after every month, the fresh order reads.
Advocate Godfrey Pimenta who appeared to MahaRERA for the complainants expressed that it is a landmark judgment passed by the authority. Providing major relief to the buyer, the MahaRERA has directed the developer who failed to execute the earlier order to refund the amount to the plot buyer who invested 10 years ago.
Pimenta said, “I argued in court that several orders being passed by the authority are not being complied by the developers. This only leads to aggrieved buyers coming back for appeal. In fact, many times, the authority has to take up the case following the failure of the developer to abide by the order passed resulting in attaching the disputed property. However, auction of the property is also a lengthy process.” Pimenta added that he appealed to MahaRERA to take action by imposing a penalty on the developer since there is a provision under the RERA Act.
The matter is about a buyer named Vishal Raut who had purchased a bungalow plot in 2012. The buyer approached MahaRERA previously following which the builder failed to hand over the property despite several years passing. In addition, the agreement of sale was also not signed. Therefore, the aggrieved buyer sought a refund along with interest under section 18. However, MahaRERA only asked the developer to sign the agreement of sale within one month of passing the order. Failing to do, the developer would have to refund the amount paid by the buyer.
Since the developer failed to execute the agreement of sale within one month and also failed to refund the money paid, the buyer filed an appeal over non-compliance of the previous order after 60 days in MahaRERA seeking a recovery order, said advocate Pimenta.