Guwahati: The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) has ruled that a housing project will not require to be registered if it received an occupancy certificate or is deemed approval for occupation prior to August 1, 2017.

The ruling was given by the tribunal while deciding an appeal filed by Saraighat Builders Pvt Ltd against a decision of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Assam.

The order was passed by Justice (retd) Manojit Bhuyan, chairperson, Assam REAT and Onkar Kedia, member, Assam REAT on Monday.

According to Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, the promoters of real estate projects, which were ongoing on the date of commencement of the Act and for which completion certificates had not been issued, were required to make an application to the RERA concerned for registration of the projects within a period of three months from the date of commencement of the Act.

In Assam, Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, came into force with effect from May 1, 2017. Therefore, an ongoing project was required to make an application to the RERA Assam for registration within a period of three months (by August 1, 2017).

In the case of Saraighat Builders Pvt. Ltd, RERA Assam held that the firm had applied for an occupancy certificate for part of their project ‘Radha Niketan’ on June 30, 2017.

As the project was an ongoing one on May 1, 2017, it required to be registered. Subsequently, RERA Assam imposed a fine of Rs 2, 50,000 on the promoter for the violation and directed him to apply for registration of the project.

“While deciding the appeal against the order, the tribunal held that if before initiating the process for registration within the three-month window, the concerned project or part of it receives an occupancy certificate or if the occupation of the building is deemed to have been approved, that part of the project/building must be considered to have been completed and would not require registration,” an official statement issued here said.

Setting aside the order of RERA, Assam, the tribunal held that the real estate project of the appellant did not require registration, as it received deemed approval within the three-month window (prior to August 1, 2017).

“The tribunal further clarified that the cut-off date for receiving occupancy certificates has to be August 1, 2017, and not May 1, 2017, which would take within its fold a deemed approval for occupation,” it said.

Under the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Act, 2010 and the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Byelaws, 2014, it is only an ‘occupancy certificate’ and not a ‘completion certificate’ that can be issued by the civic authority concerned.

Further, according to the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Act, 2010, if the work is not inspected and an occupancy certificate is not granted or refused within 21 days from the date of receipt of the completion certificate from the owner, it shall be deemed that approval has been tendered, permitting occupation of the building concerned.

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