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.

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

RBI Governor announces further moratorium period of three months for Home loans and other loans

By SRELJ Bureau

RBI Governor on 22nd May 2020 announced a further moratorium period of three months. the statement said :

“The RBI had earlier, on two separate occasions (March 27 and April 17, 2020), announced certain regulatory measures pertaining to (a) granting of 3 months moratorium on term loan installments; (b) deferment of interest for 3 months on working capital facilities; (c) easing of working capital financing requirements by reducing margins or reassessment of working capital cycle; (d) exemption from being classified as ‘defaulter’ in supervisory reporting and reporting to credit information companies; (e) extension of resolution timelines for stressed assets; and (f) asset classification standstill by excluding the moratorium period of 3 months, etc. by lending institutions.

In view of the extension of the lockdown and continuing disruptions on account of COVID-19, the above measures are being extended by another three months from June 1, 2020 till August 31, 2020 taking the total period of applicability of the measures to six months (i.e. from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020). The lending institutions are being permitted to restore the margins for working capital to their original levels by March 31, 2021. Similarly, the measures pertaining to reassessment of working capital cycle are being extended up to March 31, 2021”.: RBI Governor Statement on 22/5/2020.

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.

Govt to Soon Issue Advisory on Special Measures to Save Interest of Home buyers & All Real Estate Industry Stakeholders: Hardeep S Puri

By SRELJ Bureau

An urgent meeting of Central Advisory Council (CAC) constituted under the provisions of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), was held today through webinar under the chairmanship of Sh. Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge), MoHUA to discuss the impact of the pandemic COVID-19 (Corona Virus) and consequent nationwide lockdown on the real estate sector and to treat it as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ under the provisions of RERA. Sh Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Sh Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MOHUA; Sh A K Mendiratta, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs; Principal Secretaries and Chairpersons of Real Estate Regulatory Authorities of several States, representatives of Home buyers, Real Estate Developers, Real Estate Agents, Apartment Owners’ Associations, CREDAI, NAREDCO, Financial Institutions and other stakeholders participated in the meeting.

Welcoming the members, Shri Puri shared his appreciation for all stakeholders of Real Estate Sector- including Developers’ Association for taking necessary measures to provide food, shelter, medical facilities and wages to their workers during this crisis and Regulatory Authorities for providing full support and assistance to the real estate sector.

The concerns of the real estate sector particularly the impact of the pandemic COVID-19 and consequent nationwide lockdown were deliberated in the meeting. There was a demand for providing special relief for the real estate sector so that the sector is able to cope up with adverse impact of the current crisis.  COVID-19 has already disrupted construction activities due to reverse migration of labour at large scale and disruption of supply chain of various construction materials.

​After detailed deliberations, the Housing Minister assured all the participants that the matter will be considered keeping in view the interests of all stakeholders. He further said that MoHUA will soon issue an advisory to all RERA/States about the special measures that need to be taken to safeguard the interest of home buyers and all other real estate industry stakeholders.

MAHA RERA registered 150 new real estate projects in lock down period

By SRELJ Bureau

Maharashtra RERA Authority have registered new real estate projects in lock down period. The information given by Mr Dyaneshwar Hardare, CTO, MAHA RERA during a speech on SRO in a webinar held on 29th April 2020 organised Brahan Mumbai Developers Association. Mr Hardare said that Maharashtra RERA have registered about 150 new real estate projects in Maharashtra in the period of lock down. His team is working hard to give registration within a day. More than 5000 projects have been completed in all respect, he added.

Normally, it takes four stages of registration process where desk one to four scrutinize various disclosures made by the builder promoter about the project which includes IOD and CC. He said that MAHA RERA given registration on the basis of IOD initially but now insisting on a valid CC to register as project.

He was answering various questions of the audience mainly builders and members of Brahan Mumbai Developers Association. The entire session of webinar is available at YouTube channel of the Association.

A good news for the industry as lock down have estimated a huge loss to the industry. But industry is expecting a definite business in coming months and have got 150 such registrations. Many projects are still in pipeline and doing their documentation to complete the registration which are not included in this 150 recently registered project.

You can hear him at YouTube : Click Here

 

Physical Registration of Leave and License agreements discontinued till July 2020 in Maharashtra

By SRELJ Bureau

Government of Maharashtra have decided to discontinue physical registration of leave and license Agreement in Maharashtra. Now till July 2020 all leave and license agreements shall be registered online only. There will be no physical presence of parties to the leave and rent agreements in Maharashtra.

Government of Maharashtra have decided to avoid any rush at registration centres. To keep social distancing, Govt had announced that till July 2020 there will be no physical registration of the leave and license agreements.

The module is developed and made available by the Department of Stamps and Registration.
It provides facility of online registration of Leave and License Agreement to citizen.
Citizen can,
      1) Prepare the agreement       5) Submit it for registration
      2) View the draft                    6) Get it registered
      3) Modify if required               7) Get the status of registration through SMS
      4) Execute (sign) it
All these activities can be performed from anywhere anytime, without going physically to Sub Registrar Office.
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