In a significant development, the High Court of Karnataka has issued directives to the state government, emphasizing strict adherence to conditions while granting occupancy certificates. This move aims to ensure transparency and legality in the process of issuing occupancy certificates, a critical step in property ownership and occupancy.
Justice M Nagaprasanna, while delivering the directive, highlighted the importance of upholding the law in the grant of occupancy certificates. The court emphasized the need for authorities to thoroughly inspect properties and verify compliance with legal requirements before issuing certificates. Failure to adhere to these guidelines would result in accountability for the responsible officers, who may face departmental inquiries or legal actions if occupancy certificates are found to be issued unlawfully.
The court’s decision came in response to a case involving ‘Serene Urbana,’ a project by Ozone Urbana Infra Developers Private Limited in Bengaluru. The project, deemed ongoing as of July 10, 2017, under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), faced scrutiny regarding its compliance with legal standards for occupancy certification.
The petitioner company had previously obtained an occupancy certificate from the Kannamangala Gram Panchayat based on a completion certificate submitted by the project architect. However, upon inspection by the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA), the project was declared ongoing, prompting the legal dispute.
The court’s scrutiny revealed discrepancies, with documents lacking evidence of essential amenities such as water, sanitation, and electricity. It also highlighted alleged fraudulent practices in securing the occupancy certificate, involving collusion between developers and competent officers.
The court’s decision underscores the importance of protecting property buyers’ rights, especially in projects targeting retired individuals or senior citizens. It emphasizes the responsibility of developers and authorities to ensure the welfare and legal protection of property buyers, preventing them from facing unnecessary hurdles in securing accommodation.
Moving forward, the issuance of a circular with stringent guidelines by the state government signifies a commitment to upholding legal standards and transparency in the real estate sector. It serves as a crucial step towards promoting trust and accountability in property transactions, safeguarding the interests of buyers and upholding the integrity of the regulatory framework.