2927 Court complexes across country have been connected by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) as against target of 2992 under e-Courts Project

By SRELJ

As many as 2927 Court complexes across India have been connected so far by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) under e-Courts Project. It has led to completion of 97.86 % sites out of 2992 sites conceived to be connected with high speed WAN under the project. Department of Justice (DoJ) along with BSNL is working relentlessly on connecting the remaining sites. Under e-Courts Project, one of the largest digital networks of the world was conceived by Department of Justice along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India to connect the 2992 court complexes located all over India by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) via different modes of connectivity such as Optical Fiber Cable (OFC), Radio Frequency (RF), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) etc. In May 2018 the mandate of providing Managed MPLS VPN services to all these sites was entrusted to the BSNL, which has pan India presence with latest state-of-the-art technology and high-end telecom infrastructure and transmission equipment. The BSNL also has presence at all corners of India, including NE region, J&K, Uttarakhand, A&N Islands, etc.

Many courts under the e-Courts project are located in far flung areas where terrestrial cable cannot be used for providing connectivity. Such areas are termed as Technically Not Feasible (TNF) and in DoJ’sendeavor to bridge the digital divide; connectivity is being established at TNF sites using alternative means like RF, VSAT etc.  With persistent deliberations, meetings and coordination with different stakeholders including BSNL and the Courts, the Department has been able to reduce the total TNF sites from 58 in 2019 to 14 in 2020, thus leading to saving of public money as the cost of providing connectivity through alternative means like VSAT is much higher. Department of Justice has also decided to use the newly inaugurated submarine (under sea) cable for providing connectivity to 5 TNF sites in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In the COVID-19 pandemic scenario importance of connectivity becomes greater as suddenly courts are under huge pressure for on-line hearing of cases. The DoJ has therefore constituted a high powered committee with representatives from the BSNL, NIC, e-Committee etc to review the bandwidth requirement in the changed scenario. The Department of Justice, along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India has taken a major leap towards digital transformation and its success in leveraging digital technologies for transforming the Judiciary and providing access to justice to ordinary citizens is being appreciated at all levels.

As part of National e-Governance Plan, e-Courts Project is an Integrated Mission Mode Project under implementation since 2007 for the ICT development of the Indian Judiciary based on the ‘National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in Indian Judiciary’.

The Government approved the computerization of 14,249 district & subordinate Courts under the e-Courts Phase I project ( 2007-2015).  The objective of the e-Courts project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary by universal computerization of district and subordinate courts in the country by leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improved justice delivery. Envisaging further ICT enhancement through universal computerization of all the courts, the Phase II of the project was approved by the Cabinet in July 2015 with a cost of Rs 1670 crore under which 16,845 courts have been computerized.

27 E-Lok Adalats organized in 15 States leading to disposal of 2.51 lakh cases from June to October,2020

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By SRELJ Bureau

 In the period of turbulence caused by the pandemic, Legal Services Authorities creatively adapted to the new normal and moved Lok Adalat to the virtual platform. From June, 2020 to October 2020, 27 E-Lok Adalats have been organized in 15 States wherein 4.83 lakh cases were taken up and 2.51 lakh cases disposed of resulting in settlement of Rs 1409 cr.  Further, during November 2020, E-Lok Adalats have been organized in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Telangana so far wherein 16,651 cases were taken up and 12,686 disposed of resulting in settlement of Rs 107.4 cr.

The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way in which the Legal Services Institutions function. To facilitate access to justice amidst the constraints placed by Covid-19 and various public health guidelines, the Legal Services Authorities have ingeniously integrated technology into its conventional methods of justice delivery. Online Lok Adalat popularly known as E -Lok Adalat is one such innovation of Legal Services Institutions where technology has been used to its maximum advantage and has become a platform to deliver justice at the doorstep of people.  E- Lok Adalats are also cost effective as it eliminates the need for organisational expenses.

Organised by Legal Services Authorities, Lok Adalats (State as well as National) are an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mode wherein pre-litigation and pending cases in the courts are disposed on the basis of amicable settlement without any expense on the part of litigants. It is free of cost and expeditious method of bringing litigating parties on the same side and saving them from the rigours of trial under adversarial system of adjudication which is generally perceived to be time consuming, complex and costly. Lok Adalats are also instrumental in reducing the burden on arrears of the court disposal of long pending litigation between the parties.

Income Tax relief for Real-estate Developers and Home Buyers

By SRELJ Bureau

As part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package 3.0 as announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister on 12th November, 2020, certain income tax relief measures were brought in for real-estate developers and home buyers.

Up to 2018, section 43CA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’) provided for deeming of the stamp duty value (circle rate) as sale consideration for transfer of real-estate inventory in the case the circle rate exceeded the declared consideration. Consequentially, stamp duty value was deemed as purchase consideration in case of buyer under section 56(2)(x) of the Act.

In order to provide relief to real estate developers and buyers, the Finance Act, 2018, provided a safe harbour of 5%. Accordingly, these deeming provisions triggered only where the difference between the sale/purchase consideration and the circle rate was more than 5%. In order to provide further relief in this matter, Finance Act, 2020 increased this safe harbour from 5% to 10%. Therefore, currently, the circle rate is deemed to be the sale/purchase consideration for real estate developers and buyers only where the variation between the agreement value and the circle rate is more than 10%.

In order to boost demand in the real-estate sector and to enable the real-estate developers to liquidate their unsold inventory at a rate substantially lower than the circle rate and giving benefit to the home buyers, it has been decided to further increase the safe harbour from 10% to 20% under section 43CA of the Act for the period from 12th November, 2020 to 30th June, 2021 in respect of only primary sale of residential units of value up to Rs. 2 crore. Consequential relief by increasing the safe harbour from 10% to 20% shall also be allowed to buyers of these residential units under section 56(2)(x) of the Act for the said period. Therefore, for these transactions, circle rate shall be deemed as sale/purchase consideration only if the variation between the agreement value and the circle rate is more than 20%.

Legislative amendments in this regard shall be proposed in due course.

Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Legal System

By Adv Siddhant Mehta

 

What is AI?

From Siri, Alexa and other breakthrough softwares to self-driving cars, Artificial intelligence has evolved swiftly over the years. The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) as we know it, was devised in the year 1956 by an American computer scientist called John McCarthy as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines

AI could also be defined as “cognitive technologies. It is known to have many branches, with significant connections and commonalities among them. The most important fields are currently machine learning including deep learning and predictive analytics, natural language processing (NLP), comprising of translations, classification & clustering and information extraction.

Some AI programs train themselves, through trial and error whereas others need to be trained by humans feeding them data. At this point in advancement, researchers say it is good at finding items that meet human-defined criteria and detecting patterns in statistical information.

India on AI

AI is an emergent focus area of strategy development in India. The country’s provincial influence, expanding AI industry, and striving governmental initiatives around AI makes it an important influence to consider. Even as prevailing policy dealings anticipate the rapid advancement of AI for economic evolution and social good, a predominant inclination persists in India, and several other jurisdictions: the boundaries and perils of data-driven pronouncements still feature as retrospective contemplations for development and positioning of AI applications.

Government’s slant: The Government of India recognizes the latent market disruption that can result from AI and machine learning and has been keen on establishing a policy framework in order to exploit the constructive impact. Similarly, the interim budget for 2019 projected an allocation of upto US$ 57.4 million in order to fund the set up of a National Centre on AI, a national AI portal and 20 institutes of eminence for research and innovation.  Subsequently, in June 2018, “NITI Aayog”, the government’s strategy think tank published a discussion paper on the “National Strategy for AI” which propagates AI’s outreach to general public.  Both of these documents analyze the state of AI in India, recommend steps required for the development and utilization of AI, such as setting up dedicated inter-ministerial funds for AI-related activities, creating digital data banks, marketplaces and exchanges, and global participation in developing standards for AI systems.

At the same time, the government also proposed the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, which provides businesses with access to a wide variety of scientific and technical data collected by the state.

Defence schemes: The Ministry of Defence authorized a US$ 10.6 million project for the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, a laboratory under the government’s Defence Research and Development Organization, for evolving signal intelligence solutions for improving the intelligence and analytical capabilities of the armed forces.

Data protection & privacy: The Supreme Court in the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Anr. v. Union of India recognized the right to privacy being inclusive of informational privacy as a constitutionally protected fundamental right enforceable against the state. The Apex Court stressed the necessity for thorough data protection regulations.  Consequently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology went ahead and published the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. This Bill is significantly influenced by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, proposing the establishment of a Data Protection Authority, stricter principles, and conditions and compliance requirements for processing personal data.  It also provides for stringent penalties and enforces personal accountability on corporate officers for breaches.

The position of AI in public sector decision making has also been progressively growing across sectors such as judicial decision making, education, transportation and healthcare. The use of automated processing in electronic governance under the Digital India mission, domestic law enforcement agencies monitoring social media content and educational schemes is being discussed and gradually implemented. Much like the potential application of AI across sub-sectors, the nature of governing issues are also varied.

In a way forward in these apocalyptic times, the Supreme Court has digitized its records and procedure for the time being, which indeed will be a benchmark act as a precedent in the coming years.

Impact on the Legal fraternity

AI has transformed every career front and the legal stream is no exception. Historically speaking, law firms have been known to be notoriously sluggish in adapting to new technologies, wherein augmenting efficiency is often seen as contrary to the economic goal of amplifying billable hours. However, with the changing times law firms across the globe are trying to understand and use new technologies. According to major publication houses, “the vast majority of the UK and US’s top 100 law firms are either using artificial intelligence or assessing the technology.”

Firms having already approved of AI systems include the likes of Allen & Overy, Latham & Watkins, Baker & McKenzie, Slaughter & May, Singapore’s Dentons Rodyk & Davidson. Amongst the many, in 2017, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas became the first Indian law firm to execute an agreement with Kira Systems, a Canada-based machine learning software provider, to improve the efficiency, accuracy and speed of the firm’s delivery model for legal services. for legal research.

A cluster of Indian legal tech start-ups such as SpotDraft, CaseMine, NearLaw, Pensieve, Practice League etc. are developing natural language processing based applications that are initiating next-generation legal research programs to assist law firms in going beyond effortless, keyword-based research, thereby making it efficient. Most of such start-ups are swiftly rising in AI and NLP research capabilities, some of which have their own research labs, where softwares are being developed and trained as per the needs of lawyers and law firms.

Not only are the software solutions replacing paperwork and data management, the legal industry is also becoming consumer-centric. It is also helping save time in routine tasks of a lawyer, so that one can focus on more important facets. Presently, there are many areas of work in a legal pracitioners’s aresenal, in which artificial intelligence is proving to be useful:

  1. Legal Research – A lawyer spends most of his/her time carrying out research wherein accurate research plays an integral part in opining clients or winning a case. With the use of of AI backed software it would be an aid for lawyers to find relevant case laws and applicable statutes. With this software advancement at disposal, complex legal questions can be answered in simple and basic language in a a timely and cost-effective manner.

 

  1. Due Diligence – Due diligence is an exhausting yet historically imperative procedure in yielding a positive analogy. However, on the brighter side AI systems help to do the same task but in a more organized and faster manner. AI is also known to makes thorough checks of the facts and the figures, which helps in providing effective counselling to the clients. AI legal softwares such are Kira are proving to be helpful and time effective.

 

  1. Contract generation – Drafting contracts is like bread and butter for a legal practitioner in any field, wherein many companies have started utilizing AI based softwares in drafting standard and routine legal contracts. These softwares help in generating basic templates which can be later customized as per the needs and requirements of the clients.

 

  1. Legal Analytics – Artificial Intelligence provides for the data points from past case laws, and also provides judgements and precedent law to be used by lawyers in their present cases.

 

  1. Intellectual Property– Tools of artificial intelligence helps in providing the insights into the IP portfolios i.e. search and registration of a trademark, Patent, Copyrights etc.
  2. Electronic Billing- AI enhanced softwares also help lawyers and firms in preparing the invoices as per the work done by them. It makes for accurate billing for the work done by a lawyer or the firm as a whole. Thus, it works as an effective tool for both lawyers and clients.

 

  1. Innovations in servicing clients –The way in which clients are serviced would drastically change in the future. Law Firms would approach their clients with an innovative approach and more authentic and economic legal solutions. Presently, Indian law firms bill their services based on the time spent on the matters i.e. the billable hour method. However, this approach would become obsolete in the future. In order to service their clients better, law firms would look at innovating their pricing strategies and implement say a Performance-Based Pricing Strategy: as the name suggests, this pricing model would be extremely client friendly as the client shall be asked to pay only once targets have been met and the same would strengthen the professional relations between the clients and the firms.

 

Conclusion

While AI comes into the fore, it is possible that a machine may take over our lives. However, there is no reason why AI cannot be curbed. It is important to understand the importance of AI and find unique ways to regulate its usage effectively. Instead of letting AI take over, it should be let to act as an agent of change to create smarter lawyers and be able to attack problems like high legal costs and pendency of cases in courts. The power of AI could also be used by the Government to by making it affoordable for law firms and legal practioners.

Even though there are substantial restrictions today, however given the time and effort to evolve, these shortcomings may not exist in the coming five to ten years. Technology will eveolve more radically and sooner than we expect. Thus, although software driven machines are just beginning to perform mundane tasks of the legal field, it is likely that we can expect substantial growth in the near future whereby computers may mimic intelligent reasoning. Given the power to harness and regulate AI, we would be  able to fix some of the most notable problems to customers and lawyers and its value shouldn’t be underestimated or dismissed on account of skepticism.

 


Guest Author, Views are personal.

 

Consumer Protection Act: Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms

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By SRELJ Bureau

The Consumer Protection Act,2019 comes in to force from today i.e. 20th July 2020. While briefing the media about the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 through video conference here today, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods.

He said that the Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.  The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints / prosecution, order recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements. Shri Paswan further said that the rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.

Shri Paswan further said under this act every e-commerce entity is required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, etc. including country of origin which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.  He said that e-commerce platforms have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act. He further added that the New Act introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.

Shri Paswan further informed that the new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others,  empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.

The Minister said an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act.  This will simplify the adjudication process.  A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it. Mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions.  There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

He said, as per the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases upto Rs. 5 lakh. There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).  The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, pendency of cases and other matters.

Shri Paswan further informed that the New Act also introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation. The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods. The court may, in case of first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.

Under this new Act, besides general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, Appointment of President & Members in State/District Commission Rules, Mediation Rules, Model Rules and E-Commerce Rules and Consumer Commission Procedure Regulations, Mediation Regulations and Administrative control over State Commission & District Commission Regulations.

Shri Paswan said that the Central Consumer Protection Council Rules are provided for constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields. The Council, which has a three-year tenure, will have Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and NER. There is also provision for having working groups from amongst the members for specific tasks.

In his concluding remarks, Shri Paswan said that in earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a single point access to justice was given, which is also time consuming. The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country.

Click here for presentation on salient features of CPA 2019

All permissions/ NOCs from Center and State govt extended for 9 months to all Real Estate Projects

By SRELJ Bureau

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs vide its Advisory No K-14011/12/2020-Amrut-IIA dated 28th May 2020 have advised all center and state and concerned agencies to extend the NOCs and permissions of ongoing project to 9 months. The extension to be given only to the real estate projects whose validity is to expire on or after 25th March 2020.

The Advisory have taken into account the talk with various Local Self Government and Urban Local Bodies. The advisory asserted that that state and local bodies may issue necessary directions to enhance the validity of NOC and permissions which are lapsing on or after 25th March 2020 to a further period of 9 months.

There is no need to apply individually and the ULB may issue advisory/ circular accordingly.

Subscribers of Law Journal can ask for a copy of the advisory from [email protected] saptakala .com

Maha RERA recognised COVID-19 period as Force Majeure

By SRELJ Bureau

In its Order dated 18th May 2020 vide Order No 14/2020, Maha RERA have invoked Force Majeure for COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Order with reference to the advisory issued by the Central Advisory Council on 13th May 2020, have extended time line for all all statutory compliance due to “Force Majeure” under the provisions of RER Act 2016.

The Order said “Whereas, in view of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic and consequent nation-wide lockdown with effect from March, 2020, reverse migration of labourers to their native places and break in supply chain of construction material, the construction activities of real estate projects across the country have been severely impacted.”
“Whereas, an urgent meeting of Central Advisory Council (CAC) was held on 29th April, 2020, and as per its recommendations Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has issued Advisory regarding extension of registration of real estate projects and concurrently extending timelines of all statutory compliances due to ‘Force Majeure’ under the provisions of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), on 13th
May 2020”

Accordingly, in keeping with the advisory of Government of India and in exercise of the powers under section 37 read with Section 34(a), 34(f) and 34(g), a force majeure period of six months, from 15 th March to 14th September, 2020 is being invoked and the following directions are issued with immediate effect:

MahaRERA vide Order No. 13/2020 has already revised project validity by three months. The said validity is extended by a further period of 3 months suo-motu. MahaRERA shall accordingly issue project registration certificates, with revised timelines for such projects, at the earliest. The aforesaid extension will be in addition to the extension already granted or that may be granted to a project under the first proviso to Section 6 of the Act.
• For further extension beyond the aforesaid 6 months, for adversely affected projects, concerned promoters will have to apply in accordance with provisions of Section 6. MahaRERA may at its discretion waive the fee for such extension due to force majeure in accordance with rule 7 of Maharashtra Real Estate Registration Rules, 2017.
• The time limits for compliance under Section 11, which become due anytime during force majeure period, stand automatically extended for a period till the expiry of force majeure period.
• The Force Majeure period will be treated as a “moratorium period” for the purpose of calculating interest under section 12, 18 19(4) and 19(7) of the Act.
• The work of registration of sale documents has been adversely affected due to non-functioning of the offices of the Sub-Registrar. Therefore, any registration of agreement for sale, which becomes due during the force majeure period under Section 13 of the Act, can be registered in a period extending till the expiry of force majeure period.
• The dates of possession mentioned in already registered agreements for sale, shall be deemed to be extended by the Force Majeure period.
• Due to non-functioning of the concerned offices, the work of transfer of title and conveyance has been adversely affected. Therefore, any compliance under Section 17 that becomes due during the Force Majeure period is allowed to be completed in a period extending till the expiry of the force majeure period.
• In the Neel Kamal Realtors Suburban Pvt. Ltd. and anr. Vs Union of India and Others, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court division bench in para 115 of its order has observed that the object and purpose of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is to complete the development work within the stipulated time. Keeping in view the spirit of this order and to ensure that the available liquidity in the designated RERA Accounts get utilized, on priority, for completion of the project, any refund, which under rule 19 of MahaRERA Rules becomes due during the Force Majeure period is allowed to
be executed in a period extending up to one month after the expiry of the Force Majeure period.
• Similarly, any amount, which under Section 40 of the Act becomes payable during the Force Majeure period, shall be recovered after the expiry of the Force Majeure period.

Govt recognised COVID-19 as Force Majeure for RERA projects having completion date on or after 25th March 2020

By SRELJ Bureau

On 13th May 2020, Government of India through Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued a circular No 0-17024/230/2018/-Housing-UD/EFS-9056405 dated 13th May 2020 issuing advisory for Extension of various Real Estate Projects due to “Force Majeure” under the provisions of Real Estate (Regulation and Development ) Act 2016, (RERA).

The circular have identified reverse migration of Labour in construction industry and it will take time to resume the work. The Central Advisory Council, an apex body constituted by RER Act 2016 have identified the situation as Force Majeure and decided  under section 5, 6, 7(3), of RERA or Rules thereunder.

All registered projects having completion date on or after 25th March 2020 shall be be given by respective state RERA an extension of SIX months . It is further advised by the Council that the respective state may give further THREE MONTHs extension as per the situation in the respective states.

Copy of the notification may be obtained from us by sending request on {response @ saptakala. com} by quoting your subscription ID.

 

5346 Real Estate Projects completed since RERA Registration in Maharashtra

By SRELJ Bureau

Maharashtra being one of the biggest registrant of real estate project by state RERA, have registered 25489 projects. Of these, 5346 real estate projects have been completed with OC.

On the intervening night of 30th April and 1st May 2017, the application was made open for developers to register projects online. Maharashtra having 36 districts and 358 talukas, was the first state to provide an online portal and a live website for the implementation of
RERA Act.

MahaRERA has till October 2019 received around 9000 complaints, of which over 5900 complaints have been disposed of. More than 22 Lakh Homes accommodating 1.1 Crore citizens of Maharashtra are registered and being monitored through MahaRERA IT solution.

Majority of the projects were to be completed in December 2019 of which many have been given one year extension by MAHA RERA. After the outbreak of Corona Virus, the Authority have already granted three months extension of completion date for the projects. In its circular, the Authority said :

“For all MahaRERA Registered projects where completion date, revised completion
date or extended completion date expires on or after 15th March 2020, the period of
validity for registration of such projects shall be extended by three months.
MahaRERA shall accordingly issue project registration certificates, with revised
timelines for such projects, at the earliest.”

“Further, the time limits of all statutory compliance in accordance with the Real
Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and the rules and regulations made
thereunder, which were due in March / April / May are extended to 30th June 2020.”

MAHA RERA started registration of projects from May 1st 2017 and after three years, over 5300 have been reported to be completed which is about 25% of the total registered projects in the state.

Agriculture plots are out of RERA’s jurisdiction: MREAT

 

BY SRELJ Bureau

In a landmark judgement, Maharashtra Real Estate Tribunal ruled that Agriculture lands which have not received Non Agriculture permissions, do not fall under the jurisdiction and need not register with RERA Authorities.

Hearing an appeal in the matter of Mohammed Zain Khan vs Emnoy Properties India, Hon’ble Tribunal have upheld that Agriculture land and plot which have not received NA permissions are not Real Estate Projects and hence should not be registered.

The Hon’ble Tribunal observed ” We find that by applying the above observations to the facts of the case in hand, the Authority observes in para 10 of the order that the land under this Project is admittedly an agricultural land and till date no N.A. permission or order is granted by competent Authority to develop the same. Consequently, the Authority has held that the subject project is not a real estate project as defined under Section 2(zn) of the Act and the same cannot be registered under Section 3 of the Act. ”

The Hon’ble Tribunal further added: “We have given a thoughtful consideration to the relevant provisions of the Act. In our view the real estate project as defined under Section 2(zn) contemplates development of land into plots or apartments. In case of an agricultural land, as is the case in the instant appeal, to be designated as a real estate project, necessary permissions are required to effect the development of the said land. Compliance of such a requirement also seems essential from the perspective of provisions under Section 11(4) detailing therein the obligations of a promoter and Section 4 for mandating the requirements of certain documents/ permissions necessary for registration of the project under Section 3 of the Act. In this regard, we note that Complainant has utterly failed to establish that the said land had all necessary N.A. or other permissions for its development and for undertaking its registration as real estate project under the Act.”

 

 

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