Guwahati: The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) has directed the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Assam, to act tough on unregistered real estate projects or any new and ongoing projects which have not applied for registration under RERA.

“New and ongoing projects which have not made applications and are clearly in default be appropriately dealt with and penalised in strict terms of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016,” the tribunal said on Monday.

The tribunal further directed RERA to take necessary steps to ensure that all new and ongoing real estate projects within its jurisdiction have made applications for registration or are duly registered.

“Sufficient powers were vested with the regulatory authority under Section 35 of the Act to proceed suo motu and to call upon any promoter at any time to furnish in writing such information or explanation relating to its affairs as the authority may require and also to appoint one or more persons to make inquiry in relation to the affairs of any promoter,” it stated.

The order was passed on Monday by Justice (retd) Manojit Bhuyan, chairperson of Assam REAT, and Onkar Kedia, member, Assam REAT, while giving judgment on an appeal filed by MEE Infrastructure against an order of RERA.

RERA had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on MEE Infrastructure for failure to apply for registration in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

“The appellant has been involved in a real estate project for development and sale of flats/apartments called “Amrit Residency” in Guwahati over a project area of well above 1500 square metres, comprising 30 flats. Work on the real estate project commenced on January 11, 2014 and, as on date, the status of the project is an ongoing project. Neither the completion certificate nor the occupancy certificate has yet been issued by the competent authority,” it said.

“The appellant/promoter was mandated by the Act to make an application to RERA for registration of the project within a period of three months from May 1, 2017, the date when the relevant provisions of the Act were made effective, but it failed to do so. After steps had been initiated by RERA, such application came to be made by the appellant only after about four years from the date of expiry of the prescribed time limit,” it added.

The Assam REAT rejected the plea of ignorance of law taken by the appellant, calling it legally unacceptable while the order imposing a penalty on the promoter was upheld by the tribunal and the appeal was rejected.

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