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COMPLAINT BY HOMEBUYERS UNDER CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AGAINST BUILDER OR DEVELOPER NOT BARRED BY RERA: National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Team SoOLEGAL 18 Apr 2019 2:38pm

COMPLAINT BY HOMEBUYERS UNDER CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AGAINST BUILDER OR DEVELOPER NOT BARRED BY RERA: National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench which was headed by Justice R K Agrawal dealt with a pile of complaints which were filed by the homebuyers seeking compensation from Today Homes & Infrastructure Pvt Ltd for non-delivery of possession of flats within the stipulated time. 

Preliminary objections were raised by the builder against the maintainability of complaints. The following two grounds were the basis for objections:

Firstly, after the commencement of RERA, consumer complaint was not maintainable, as Section 79 of RERA bars jurisdiction of civil courts. Secondly, the arbitration clause in the agreements with buyers excluded jurisdiction of consumer forum.
It was held by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission(NCDRC) that a person is not barred to file a complaint against any builder or developer under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by virtue of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA).

The Commission rejected these objections and held that Consumer Protection Act was a special enactment, which provided a special remedy to an aggrieved consumer. The authorities under Consumer Protection Act cannot be regarded as "civil courts" and hence Section 79 of RERA did not apply. 
Supreme Court judgment in Emaar MGF Land Ltd. vs. Aftab Singh was also referred to hold that the fact that Arbitration can be proceeded under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1986 is not a ground to restrain the Consumer Fora from proceeding with the Complaints.

Tagged: National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission   Justice R K Agrawal   Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016   Consumer Protection Act 1986  
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