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Mumbai: Bombay High Court seeks MahaRERA’s help

Updated on: 08 February,2023 07:49 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Agencies |

The high court wants to know whether the body can identify, classify and rate developers; and if it could have a rating system

Mumbai: Bombay High Court seeks MahaRERA’s help

The HC was hearing a plea on unpaid transit rent. File pic

The Bombay High Court (HC) has sought to know from the Maharashtra government if the state’s housing regulator MahaRERA could identify, classify and rate private developers so that societies and other authorities could make an informed decision while choosing a builder.

A division bench of Justice  Gautam Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale was on February 3 hearing a petition taken up suo motu by the HC based on a plea filed by a person seeking payment of unpaid transit rent and against the stalled redevelopment of a cessed property known as Ratilal Mansion in south Mumbai.

The issue

The redevelopment of the building was stalled in 2013 after private developer Orbit Corporation Limited, which was involved in the project, went into liquidation. By then, it had built nine floors of the new building.

Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (MHADA) advocate Prakash Lad on February 3 informed the high court that it was in the process of appointing a structural consultant to submit an audit report of the semi-finished structure.

Also Read: Mumbai: Bombay HC grants interim relief to 103-yr-old woman, her family

He further said that MHADA now has the power to redevelop a building itself. The bench noted that the dilemma before the MHADA and the society is not just the structural audit and engineering technicalities but about making a proper and informed choice of a developer.

HC needs

The bench sought to know from the Maharashtra government if an authority such as the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) can identify, classify or rate developers according to any measure that it deems appropriate.

“This would be to the benefit of the concerned society as also MHADA, and would minimise the risk to a considerable extent in project completion. With a developer database accessible, both the societies and MHADA would be able to make a better and informed decision about the choice of developer,” the court said.

The bench sought to know from MahaRERA if it has a database of developers and if the regulator has a rating system, and if not, then whether the authority was willing to consider developing one. “We approach MahaRERA not just as a statutory authority but as a body with specialised knowledge, expertise and data, seeking its assistance,” it added.

While taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, the court had in January noted that this was a problem that occurs repeatedly throughout the city, especially with the redevelopment of cessed buildings.

The bench had then noted that the law has no effective provision in force on what is to be done when a developer cannot complete construction leaving members out of their homes and on transit and large amounts of unpaid arrears of transit rent.

The building in question was demolished in 2009 and was to be redeveloped. It has now been attached by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) over unpaid property tax. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on March 3.

Day, in March, the high court will hear the matter further

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