The Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) has recently dismissed an execution application filed by a homebuyer against a developer, citing lack of jurisdiction. The decision has been met with mixed reactions from legal experts and the real estate industry.
The case involves a dispute between a homebuyer and a developer over the delayed possession of a property. The homebuyer had filed a complaint with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), which had ordered the developer to pay compensation to the buyer for the delay. The developer had challenged the order before the MREAT, which had dismissed the appeal and upheld the MahaRERA order.
Subsequently, the homebuyer had filed an execution application before the MREAT, seeking enforcement of the compensation order. The developer had challenged the maintainability of the execution application, arguing that the MREAT did not have jurisdiction to hear such matters.
The MREAT, in its order dated May 5, 2023, held that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain the execution application filed by the homebuyer. The tribunal observed that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which established the MahaRERA and the MREAT, did not confer any power upon the MREAT to execute its orders.
The MREAT noted that Section 40 of the Act provides that any person aggrieved by an order of the MahaRERA can file an appeal before the MREAT within sixty days from the date of the order. However, the Act does not mention anything about the MREAT's power to execute its orders. The MREAT also referred to a recent judgment of the Supreme Court, which had held that the MahaRERA had the power to execute its own orders but not the power to execute the orders of other fora.
The MREAT held that the execution application filed by the homebuyer was not maintainable before it and dismissed the same.
The MREAT's decision has been met with mixed reactions. Some legal experts have hailed the decision as a correct interpretation of the law, while others have criticized it as being too narrow and technical.
According to Anuj Puri, Chairman of ANAROCK Property Consultants, "The MREAT's decision is a setback for homebuyers who seek timely enforcement of MahaRERA orders. While the MahaRERA has the power to execute its own orders, it is often seen that developers challenge the orders before the MREAT, which causes further delay in the execution of the orders. The MREAT should have the power to execute the orders of the MahaRERA to ensure speedy relief to homebuyers."
On the other hand, Ashwin Bhat, a Mumbai-based lawyer, said, "The MREAT's decision is a correct interpretation of the law. The Act does not confer any power upon the MREAT to execute its orders. The homebuyer should have filed a separate execution application before the appropriate forum, such as the civil court, to enforce the compensation order."
The MREAT's decision in this case has highlighted the need for clarity in the legal framework governing real estate disputes in India. While the MahaRERA has been successful in providing a platform for aggrieved homebuyers to seek relief, the lack of clarity regarding the MREAT's power to execute its orders has caused confusion and delays in the execution of the orders. The government should consider amending the Act to confer explicit power upon the MREAT to execute its orders, or alternatively, provide for a separate mechanism for the execution of the MahaRERA orders.
Note: The information provided in this article about Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) 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.
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