MahaREAT: An act of the partner is binding on the partnership firm.

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Mr. Jervis Anthony Creado and Mrs. Rose Jervis Anthony Creado vs. Aishwarya Light Construction Company (Appeal No. AT006000000052415), this appeal emanates from the order dated 24th December, 2019 passed by MahaRERA whereby the learned Authority had not granted reliefs of interest / compensation under section 18 of the RERA as sought by appellants in their complaint.

 

Facts of the case: The complainants have booked a flat No. 504, on 5th floor, ‘A’
wing ad measuring 466 sq. ft. along with one open parking space in the project ‘Aishwarya Heights’ of the respondent situated at Andheri, Mumbai for a consideration of Rs. 80,00,000/-. The respondent had issued allotment letter dated 27th February 2017 to the allottees. The allottees have paid entire consideration to the developer.

On 27th February, 2017 the respondent has executed unregistered agreement for sale with the CC006000000141152 filed by the appellants whereby, the complainants and agreed to handover possession of the subject flat to complainants by December, 2017. The developer neither registered agreement for sale nor handed over possession of suit flat to complainants therefore the complainants filed complaint and sought directions to developer.

The developer appeared in the complaint and disputed the claim of complainants contending in his reply that the alleged agreement for sale does not confer any right to the complainants as it was an arrangement between them and therefore the same has not been registered.

It is worthy to note that though the agreement for sale was undated but the facts remains that one of the partners of the respondent has agreed to handover the possession of the subject flat to allottees by December, 2017. An act of the partner is binding on the partnership firm.

 

What options does Section 18 of RERA Act gives you? Section 18 gives an option to the allottees either to continue with the project by claiming interest on delayed period of possession or to withdraw from the project and to claim refund of entire amount along with interest including compensation. In the instant case allottees have chosen the first option. It clearly shows that the allottees are interested in getting possession of the flat as they have already paid substantial amount out of the total price of the flat to the promoter.

 

Order: The impugned order shows that the learned authority has denied relief of interest on account of delayed possession only for the reason that there is no registered agreement for sale executed between the parties showing any agreed date of possession. However, the material produced on record and the impugned order clearly indicate that one of the partners of respondent executed undated agreement for sale with the complainants.

Moreover, the respondent has also not disputed the factum of execution of undated agreement for sale by its partner. Therefore, we are of the view that the allottees are entitled to interest on their investments from January, 2018. Therefore, the appeal is allowed by the MahaREAT.

How a recent Supreme Court ruling extends the legal rights of a daughter to her father’s property

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Arunachala Gounder, the Supreme Court Judgment dated 20th January 2022 has whipped up a lot of interest and intrigue – more so among the general population than the legal community. The Judgment delivered by a Bench of Hon’ble Justice Abdul Nazeer and Hon’ble Justice Krishna Murari delves into the realms of a daughter’s rights on her father’s self-acquired property or his share in partitioned coparcenary/family property.

 

What was the issue?

The most recent Supreme Court decision addresses a daughter’s legal entitlement to inherit her father’s “self-acquired” property in the absence of any other legal successor with inheritable rights. This implies the Hon’ble Court decided whether the property’s lawful heir would be the daughter by ‘inheritance’ or her father’s brother’s son through survivorship. One important fact is that the Judgment deals with a scenario before the commencement of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

 

What the Supreme Court has said:

The Honorable Court stated unequivocally that a self-acquired property or a share received in a partition of a coparcenary property by a Hindu male who died intestate (without leaving behind a legally valid Will) will devolve (i.e. be transferred) by “inheritance” rather than “survivorship,” implying that the daughter of a Hindu male will be entitled to such property before any other collaterals.

In the present case – The Hindu male died intestate. He was living in a joint family. However, the property in question was his ‘self-acquired’ property and therefore, his sole surviving daughter had all the rights to inherit his property and not his brother’s son (through survivorship).

 

Who inherits the property after the death of the daughter of the Hindu male who died intestate?

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 solidified inheritance among all Hindus (irrespective of school of philosophy). A Hindu female’s property (including property gained by inheritance) is her absolute property, according to Section 14 of the aforementioned Act. As a result, the misunderstanding caused by some old conventions that a Hindu girl could only enjoy the inherited property throughout her ‘lifetime’ was also dispelled.

The succession of such properties (owned by Hindu females) in absence of a Will/testament is governed by Section 15 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and in terms of the ‘order of succession’ as provided for in Section 16 of the same Act.

 

Legal heirs of Hindu female who dies without a valid will:

When a Hindu female dies intestate, her self-acquired property will devolve in terms of Section 15(1), firstly by her class-I legal heirs viz. the children and the husband, if alive.

However, when a Hindu female dies intestate leaving behind inherited property, then as per Section 15 (2), if she dies issueless viz. without any children, then the property inherited from her father or mother will go to the heirs of her father. Similarly, property inherited from her husband or father-in-law will go to the heirs of the husband. The Supreme Court in the present Judgment has affirmed the sanctity of this provision by stating that the intent of the Legislature in carving out the ex ..

 

Supreme Court Decision:

The recent Supreme Court pronouncement clarifies the inheritance laws as applicable to a Hindu female as follows:

(a) The Hindu daughter inherits the self-acquired property of her father

(b) The rule of ‘inheritance’ prevails and not the rule of ‘survivorship’.

(c) The Hindu female has an ‘absolute’ right in such property (in terms of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956) and not a limited ‘lifetime’ interest.

(d) Such property can revert to the ‘source’ only when the Hindu female dies without leaving behind a child.

(e) In absence of a Will/Testament, such property devolves upon her legal heirs as per the terms of Section 15 and 16 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

 

The Hon’ble Court has answered all the unanswered questions and redefined the law. While there could be a minuscule percentage of such cases, they would not drag on for many years, because the law has been clearly laid, leaving no room for any conundrum.

MahaRERA: Failure of completion of a flat project will lead to money refunded plus interest to buyers

RERA

RERABy Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Mr. Vikas Gupta and Neena Gupta v. M/s. Wheelabrator Alloy Castings Ltd and M/s. Runwal Real Estates Pvt. Ltd (CC006000000197002) under the MahaRERA Authority on 17th January 2022, the complainants had filed this complaint seeking directions  from MahaRERA to the respondent to refund the amount with interest and  handover possession under the provisions of section 18 of the Real Estate  (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 in  respect of the booking of a flat in the  respondent’s registered project known as “Runwal Forests Tower 5-8” in Mumbai.

During the hearing on September 2, 2021, the respondents were fined Rs. 10,000/- for failing to file their replies on MahaRERA’s record. The respondents, on the other hand, filed a review application to have the order set aside, which the MahaRERA granted after hearing the parties on October 5, 2021.

 

Facts:

The complainants had reserved the aforementioned flat in the project registered by the landowner, respondent No. 1, for which a letter of allotment dated 18th October 2015 was properly issued to the complainants upon payment of the booking price of Rs. 59,91,565/-. Respondent No. 1 specified August 2019 as the date of possession in the stated assignment letter. Following that, on August 19, 2016, an agreement for sale was signed and registered, and the date of possession was altered to February 2020. The complainants alleged that they had paid a significant portion of the compensation.

Furthermore, the proposed completion date for Tower 8 has been pushed back several times till October 31, 2021. The complainants were then informed, via an e-mail dated 8th April 2021, that the project was completed up to 40 levels. The complainants then asked to be removed from the project. Furthermore, work on the flat sold to the complainants under the agreement for sale has yet to begin. As a result, the complainants are seeking a return of the monies spent to date, plus interest, as well as amounts paid for Stamp Duty and Registration, GST, VAT, Service Tax, and other taxes.

The MahaRERA has reviewed both parties’ submissions as well as the public record. The complainants, who are allottees of this project, have approached MahaRERA with this complaint, requesting a refund as well as interest for the delayed possession under section 18 of the RERA. The complainants further claimed that section 12 of the RERA had been also violated.

The respondent promoter refuted the complainants’ claim by filing written representations on record with MahaRERA, claiming that the delay in this project was caused by the competent authorities issuing Stop Work Notices due to a lack of Naval NOC, and that this was beyond its control. In light of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision in the case of Janta Land Developers, the respondent has also rejected the complainants’ claims by raising the question of MahaRERA’s single bench’s jurisdiction to decide this complaint on its own.

 

Judgement/Held:

Given the facts and circumstances of this matter, the MahaRERA believes there is substance to the grounds for delay provided by the respondent, and that the delay was beyond the respondent’s control. As a result, the respondent is entitled to request MahaRERA’s assistance in completing this project. However, the respondent has now committed to finish the project and hand over control of the property to the complainants by acquiring the occupancy certificate on or before June 30, 2022.

Given these facts, the present complaint is dismissed with a directive to the respondent promoter to complete the project, obtain an occupancy certificate, and hand over possession of the said flat to the complainant on or before June 30, 2022, failing which, the complainants’ money will be refunded, plus interest, at the rate of SBI’s Highest Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) plus 2%, as prescribed under the provisions of the SBI Act.

Bombay High Court: ordered the builder to deposit 100% of the interest due to flat buyers

By Fiona Mehta

 

As a condition of hearing its appeal, the Bombay high court upheld an order of the RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act) appellate tribunal (MAHAREAT) directing a builder to deposit 100% of the interest due to buyers for delays in handing over flats at a project called Wintergreen in Borivali in May 2022.

However, the HC, accepts an undertaking by the builder, CCI Projects Pvt Ltd, and gave it 5 months to deposit over Rs 19 crore before the Tribunal, of which Rs 5.5 crore is to be paid in 4 weeks.

The developer said it will deposit Rs 33 lakh, or 30% of the Rs 1.1 crore ‘penalty’ due to flat buyers, in 4 weeks. It will also provide more than Rs 10 lakh to expenses as directed. In their May 6 judgement, Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Madhav Jamdar stated that failure to fulfil deadlines will result in the rejection of any pending appeal before the panel.

CCI Projects’ counsels had challenged the tribunal’s orders under the RERA Act requiring it to deposit a 100 percent deposit “without recording any reasons.” According to the counsels, Section 43 (5) of the RERA Act provides the tribunal power to request a deposit of at least 30% of the amount, and “the appellate tribunal has directed deposit of considerably lesser amount in numerous other situations.”

The HC also heard from Central government’s counsel and the apartment buyers’ attorney where they pointed out that the Act only requires a minimum 30% deposit of the imposed ‘penalty,’ not any additional amounts. She stated that a pre-deposit of the total sum is mandatory before an appeal is considered.

The project is finished, according to the builder’s counsel, and the flats have been handed over to the buyers. According to him, the MahaRERA order is merely for compensation for delays, and hence, flat buyers’ concerns should have been dismissed.

 

Flat buyers filed 173 complaints, of which 69 have been resolved, 83 are awaiting hearing before the Authority, and 19 are awaiting conciliation. There were 112 appeals before the tribunal, 42 of which were settled, and 53 of which were granted a pre-deposit order.

The builder’s counsel then requested further time, claiming that the builder is willing to make the deposit in five months and has agreed to pay the interest deposit in five months, as well as not to create third-party rights in four shops at Arcade, Rivali Park in Borivali, valued at around Rs 12 crore.

The HC ordered that if the builder and flat buyers do not reach a settlement within five months, the builder is free to seek a revision of the ruling.

Section 43(5) of the Act envisages the filing of an appeal before the appellate tribunal against the order of an authority or the adjudicating officer by any person aggrieved and where the promoter intends to appeal against an order of authority or adjudicating officer against imposition of penalty, the promoter has to deposit at least 30 per cent of the penalty amount or such higher amount as may be directed by the appellate tribunal.

If the appeal is against any other order involving the return of funds to the allottee, the promoter must deposit with the appellate tribunal the total amount to be paid to the allottee, including any interest and compensation owed to him, if any, or both, as the case may be, before the appeal is filed.

SC awards builder 7 days’ jail and fine for contempt of court

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund v. Dharmesh S. Jain and another, the Supreme Court sentenced Respondent 1- real estate developer Dharmesh Jain to 7 days imprisonment at civil prison in Byculla on May 14, 2022 under the Contempt of Courts Act with a fine of Rs. 5 lakh to be deposed before the Bombay High Court in 2 weeks.

Vide detailed judgment and order dated March 10, 2022 passed in the aforesaid Contempt Petition, this Court held that Dharmesh Jain, for the contempt of this Court for wilful disobedience of the order dated October 28, 2021 passed by this Court in Miscellaneous Application No. 1668 of 2021 in Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 14724/2021, as also, for wilful disobedience of the order passed by the High Court dated 08.08.2019 in Notice of Motion No. 960 of 2019 in Commercial Arbitration Petition No. 55 of 2019.

Two months prior, the SC had found him guilty of wilful disobedience of his October 2021 ruling as well as an August 8, 2021 Bombay High Court order. Following an arbitral award of Rs. 78 crore against him and Nirmal Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, of which he is a director, in a commercial dispute with Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund over a share purchase agreement, the HC ordered him to deposit a certain amount.

The HC stated that they provided the respondents/contemnors with sufficient opportunities to either comply with the orders of this Court and the High Court, for which wilful disobedience has been established and they are liable to be punished suitably under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, or to settle the dispute amicably with the petitioner herein, but neither the respondents/contemnors have complied with the orders passed by this Court and the High Court.

However, so as to give one last opportunity to the contemnor to purge the contempt and comply with the orders passed by the Bombay High Court as well as this Court, it is observed that the aforesaid sentence shall be kept in abeyance for a period of two weeks from today, failing which, the aforesaid sentence shall take effect and on non-compliance, the respondent No.1 herein – Dharmesh Jain will then surrender before the concerned Court/Authority to undergo the sentence imposed by this Court.

Delhi High Court: Real Estate Appellate Tribunal does not have suo motu powers.

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Praveen Chhabra v. Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (2022) under the High Court of New Delhi, the Court quashed the suo motu proceedings initiated by the Appellate Tribunal to monitor construction activity in the National Capital Territory.

The court held that under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), the jurisdiction of the Appellate Tribunal stands confined to consideration of challenges raised against orders passed by either the Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the Adjudicating Authority under the RERA.

In this matter, the Appellate Tribunal had filed suo moto proceedings in the national capital against a number of residential and commercial projects, as well as construction activities associated with them, and had issued restriction orders against them. Additionally, it had passed an order stating that all construction activity, residential or commercial, would be stayed till the project is registered under RERA Act.

Aggrieved by the same, Praveen Chhabra, the builder developer approached the High Court after he was informed that the plans he had submitted could not be approved in light of the Appellate Tribunal order. The Appellate Tribunal neglected to consider the scope of the Act, according to the Court.

According to Sections 43 and 44 of the RERA Act, which provide for the establishment of tribunals and the definition of what disputes can be brought before such tribunals, the Appellate Tribunal was established as a forum whose jurisdiction could be invoked by a person aggrieved by an order, decision, or direction of the Authority.

The High Court also said that the Appellate Tribunal being a creation of statute, is not part of traditional judicial institutions.

The Court, therefore, quashed the order staying the construction of projects until they are registered under with the RERA authority.

“The Court also takes into consideration the significant portent of the direction issued. It has practically injuncted all construction activity in the NCT of Delhi. The aforesaid injunction is not shown to have been preceded by any enquiry with respect to the validity of a particular project or even a prima facie assessment or evaluation of the validity of a single project,” the Court observed while quashing the order.

The judge, however, clarified that he was not interfering with the Authority’s right to independently examine individual projects under the RERA Act.

Therefore, the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal does not have powers to initiate cases suo motu, the Delhi High Court recently held while setting aside such proceedings initiated by the tribunal to monitor construction activity in the National Capital Territory.

MahaREAT rejects application for amendment of MahaRERA order when the applicant is late for application.

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Shridhar Krishna Mani & Another vs. Lucina Land Developers Limited (AT006000000010885), Appellants are seeking amendment in Prayer Clause of Memorandum of Appeal by contending that Respondent obtained part occupation certificate without completing pending works (‘amenities’) promised in the brochure and offered possession of the flat to Appellants. Therefore, in the complaint, Appellant had sought specific direction from the Authority to Respondent to complete pending works.

As a result, the Appellants requested similar direction in the prayer clause (a) in this case. Respondent, on the other hand, made it apparent in written representations that it would/could not supply the amenities promised at the time of the flat’s sale. Respondent’s final plan plainly shows that no space is left for community amenities, notwithstanding Respondent’s assurance in the brochure.

In such circumstances, Appellants considering permanent losses made specific submissions in written argument. Therefore, it is just and necessary to consider the prayer clause (g) in Appeal and Appellants be allowed to amend the prayers.

On the one hand, Appellant’s Advocate claims that Respondent has broken Section 12 of the Act by failing to provide the amenities and facilities promised in the brochure and ads published in the major publications. Appellants are seeking compensation from Respondent under the proposed amendment for failing to provide amenities as indicated in the brochure and marketing. The proposed revision will not alter the nature of the reliefs, which are consistent with the Appellants’ pleadings.

On the other hand, Respondent’s Advocate states that a bare perusal of the Application for Amendment would show that it is not an Amendment Application. There is no reference of schedule of the amendment in the application.

Learned Advocate has drawn attention to paragraphs 3, 4, 7(j), 7(p), 7(nn), 7(ss), 7(ww), and 7(aaa) of Respondent’s affidavit in reply dated 9th February 2019 and poignantly submitted that Respondent has specifically mentioned in the affidavit-in-reply that Respondent has provided amenities to Appellants, as agreed in the agreement for sale. It means that Respondent’s affidavit-in-reply fabricated Appellants’ claim that Appellants learned for the first time from Respondent’s written representations that Respondent will not provide amenities as depicted in the brochure. Furthermore, the appellants failed to use their entitlement at an earlier stage and instead submitted the current application after the case was closed for judgement.

Final order: After analyzing the parties’ competing arguments and the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, it can be concluded that, for the new cause of action that has emerged, Appellants can raise this issue before the proper venue in line with the RERA 2016. As a result, the Application for Amendment of the Appeal Memo is not only late, but it would also alter the essence and character of the Appeal. As a result, the considered opinion that the Application lacks merit and is liable to be rejected.

MahaREAT: Allottees are entitled to claim refund with interest and withdraw from the project when Promoters failed to handover possession with OC.

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Mr. Suryakant Yahswant Jadhav and Suryakant Jadhav HUF vs. Bellissimo Hi-Rise Builders Pvt. Ltd. And others. (Appeal No. AT006000000021407 and AT006000000021408) before the MahaREAT, where both the parties have executed and registered agreements for sale separately for two flats on 17th May, 2014 and on 16th May, 2014, Promoters agreed to handover possession of the flats on or before 28th February, 2017. Allottees have paid about 95 to 96% of price of each of the flats. Promoters failed to handover possession of the flats as per agreed date. Project was incomplete on 1st May, 2017 i.e., the date on which the RERA came into force, promoters registered the project under RERA.

Therefore, Allottees decided to withdraw from the project and demanded refund with interest and compensation as per Section 18 of RERA. Promoters did not pay any heed. Allottees filed separate complaints (Complaint No. CC006000000056404 and Complaint No. CC006000000056405) for each flat before MahaRERA.

MahaRERA conducted enquiry and heard Allottees and Promoters. MahaRERA disposed of both the Complaints by common order dated 6th March, 2019 and held that Section 18 of RERA does not apply to the present dispute. MahaRERA advised Allottees to take possession of their respective flats which is ready for occupation. Aggravated by this, the Allottees have fled two separate appeals challenging the order.

According to the Allottees Counsel, allottees have the right to make a compensation claim with the Adjudicating Officer under RERA Sections 71 and 72. The impugned order is not legally enforceable for the reasons outlined above. As a result, Allottees are entitled to a refund plus interest because the Promoters failed to deliver possession of the flats on the agreed-upon date in the sale agreements.

In view of above submissions, it is submitted by Allottees that for the reasons of delay in possession along with failure to provide amenities as promised and failure to provide flats as booked. Allottees are entitled to seek refund with interest and compensation and therefore the impugned order is liable to be set-aside.

Order: In view of the delay in possession as observed above, Allottees are entitled to withdraw from the project under Section 18(1) of RERA which the Authority has failed to consider and recognize. It is not possible to accept the observations made by the Authority in para 3 of the impugned order holding that Section 18(1) would not apply once the construction is complete or possession is handed over, as the case may be.

Having regard to the above observations, it is found that Promoters have not been able to hand over possession on the agreed date i.e., 28.02.2018 as per clause 11.1 of the AFS. Therefore, Allottees are entitled to withdraw from the project and consequently eligible for reliefs as provided under Section 18(1) of RERA. In the result, the impugned order cannot be sustained and deserves to be set aside.

Final Order: Appeal No. 4T006000000021407 and Appeal No. 4T006000000021408 are allowed by MahaREAT. Promoters shall refund the amount received from Allottees in respect of both the flats along with interest.

86,942 cases disposed off by RERA in various states till March 2022

By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD.

As per the latest information available with the Ministry, 28 States/ Union Territories (UTs) have set up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal and 30 States/UTs have set up the Real Estate Regulatory Authority under Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). State-wise implementation details are annexed. Information regarding number of cases pending and average time taken to resolve them in Real Estate Tribunals is not maintained centrally.

 

Various measures have been taken by the Government to protect the interest of homebuyers from time to time. RERA ensures to protect the interest of homebuyers by regulating and promoting in Real Estate Sector in a transparent and accountable manner. Section 4 of RERA provides for compulsory deposit of seventy percent of amount realised for real estate project from allottees in a separate bank account to cover the cost of construction and land cost. RERA also, interalia, makes the promoter liable for refund of amount, with interest and compensation, in case developer fails to complete or is unable to give possession of apartment, plot, building to homebuyer; as per the terms of the agreement for sale.

 

Moreover, in order to provide last mile funding to stalled real estate projects which are net-worth positive and registered under RERA, a Special Window for Affordable and Mid Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund of Rs. 25,000 Crore has been created.

 

Annexure

Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 [RERA]                                  

Implementation Progress Report
(as on19-03-2022)

 

Sl. State General Rules Establishment of Regulatory Authority Establishment of Appellate Tribunal Web Portal Adjudicat-ing Officer Registrations Total no. of Cases disposed by Authority

 

Projects Agents
1 Andhra Pradesh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 2420 154 158
2 Arunachal Pradesh Notified Interim Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed 0 0 0
3 Assam Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Not Appointed 464 38 21
4 Bihar Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 1305 415 1154
5 Chhattisgarh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 1378 646 1424
6 Goa Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 847 336 131
7 Gujarat Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 9818 1869 3367
8 Haryana * Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 965 2812 18383
9 Himachal Pradesh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 101 113 44
10 Jharkhand Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 821 7 93
11 Karnataka Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 4739 2823 3087
12 Kerala Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 708 235 651
13 Madhya Pradesh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 4115 1009 4,926
14 Maharashtra Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 33882 33798 11621
15 Manipur Notified Interim Interim Not Setup Not Appointed 0
16 Meghalaya Notified Not Established Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed
17 Mizoram Notified Interim Not Established Setup Appointed 0
18 Nagaland Not Notified Not Established Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed
19 Odisha Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 659 85 1247
20 Punjab Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 1116 2596 2106
21 Rajasthan Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 1843 3102 1488
22 Sikkim Notified Not Established Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed
23 Tamil Nadu Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 3981 2308 1766
24 Telangana Notified Interim Interim Setup Not Appointed 4282 2148 2
25 Tripura Notified Permanent Interim Setup Appointed 91 05 0
26 Uttar Pradesh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 3183 5151 34419
27 Uttarakhand Notified Permanent Interim Setup Not Appointed 336 350 629
28  

West Bengal

Notified Not Established Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed  

 

 

Union Territories
1 Andaman & Nicobar Island Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 3 28 0
2 Chandigarh Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Not Appointed 3 16 25
3 Dadra& Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 163 2 0
4 Jammu & Kashmir Notified Interim Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed 0 0 0
5 Ladakh Notified Not Established Not Established Not Setup Not Appointed
6 Lakshadweep Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Appointed 0 0 0
7 NCT of Delhi Notified Permanent Permanent Setup Not Appointed 38 440 197
8 Puducherry Notified Interim Permanent Setup Not Appointed 194 3 3
Total 77,455 60,489 86,942

* Haryana has 2 Regulatory Authorities i.e. one for Gurugram and other at Panchkula for rest of Haryana.

 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Shri Kaushal Kishore, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha

Establishment of National Judicial Infrastructure

By Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, Editor

As per the information made available by the High Courts, as on 28.02.2022 there are 20,814 Court Halls and 18,319 Residential Units available for Judicial Officers/Judges in the country against the working strength of 19,350 Judges/Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts and sanctioned strength of 24,520 as on 28.02.2022. There is presently a vacancy of 5,170 Judicial Officers. As the available infrastructure also includes court halls leased from Centre/ States and rented buildings, the aim is to shift all the court halls to judiciary owned buildings and to match the Judicial Infrastructure with sanctioned strength of judges.

The primary responsibility of development of infrastructure facilities for judiciary rests with the State Governments. To augment the resources of the State Governments, the Union Government has been implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary by providing financial assistance to State Governments / UTs in the prescribed fund sharing pattern between Centre and States. The Scheme is being implemented since      1993-94. It covers the construction of court buildings and residential accommodations for Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Judiciary. As on date a sum of Rs. 8758.71 crore has been released under the Scheme so far since its inception, out of which Rs. 5314.40 crore (60.68 %) has been released since 2014-15.  The Scheme has been extended from 2021-22 to 2025-26 with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 9000 crore including Central share of Rs. 5307.00 crore. Besides the construction of Court Halls and Residential Quarters, the Scheme now also covers the construction of Lawyers’ Halls, Digital Computer Rooms and Toilet Complexes in the District and Subordinate Courts.

The State-wise statement of the ratio of the cases currently pending in the court to the total number of judges is at Annexure-I.

The State-wise detail of total vacancies of Judges at present is at Annexure-II.

The Registry of Supreme Court of India has compiled data on the status of judicial infrastructure and court amenities.  A proposal has been received from Chief Justice of India for setting up of National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI) for arrangement of adequate infrastructure for courts, as per which there will be a Governing Body with Chief Justice of India as Patron-in-Chief. The other salient features of the proposal are that NJIAI will act as a Central body in laying down the road map for planning, creation, development, maintenance and management of functional infrastructure for the Indian Court System, besides identical structures under all the High Courts. The proposal has been sent to the various State Governments/UTs, as they constitute an important stakeholder, for their views on the contours of the proposal to enable taking a considered view on the matter.

Annexure –I

ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL JUDICIAL INFRASTRUCTURE (As on 09.03.2022)

Sl. No. States & UTs Sanctioned Strength of Judges/Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts Working Strength of Judges/Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts Total pendency of District and Subordinate Courts Ratio of Pending Cases to Judges /Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts
1 Andaman and Nicobar 0 13 * *
2 Andhra Pradesh 607 487 805572 1654.15
3 Arunachal Pradesh 41 32 * *
4 Assam 467 436 436061 1000.14
5 Bihar 1954 1389 3391187 2441.46
6 Chandigarh 30 30 73262 2442.07
7 Chhattisgarh 482 407 398480 979.07
8 D & N Haveli 3 2 3706 1853.00
9 Daman & Diu 4 4 2902 725.50
10 Delhi 884 686 1123292 1637.45
11 Goa 50 40 57603 1440.08
12 Gujarat 1523 1176 1996428 1697.64
13 Haryana 772 477 1332388 2793.27
14 Himachal Pradesh 175 162 472766 2918.31
15 Jammu and Kashmir 300 240 253828 1057.62
16 Jharkhand 675 517 507853 982.31
17 Karnataka 1364 1085 2022290 1863.86
18 Kerala 569 487 1955155 4014.69
19 Ladakh 17 9 957 106.33
20 Lakshadweep 3 3 * *
21 Madhya Pradesh 2021 1550 1916155 1236.23
22 Maharashtra 2190 1940 4949069 2551.07
23 Manipur 59 46 12706 276.22
24 Meghalaya 97 49 17005 347.04
25 Mizoram 65 41 6114 149.12
26 Nagaland 34 24 2763 115.13
27 Odisha 977 781 1546864 1980.62
28 Puducherry 26 11 34668 3151.64
29 Punjab 692 606 972103 1604.13
30 Rajasthan 1549 1272 2124411 1670.13
31 Sikkim 28 20 1920 96.00
32 Tamil Nadu 1319 1080 1411371 1306.83
33 Telangana 474 424 838703 1978.07
34 Tripura 122 106 36374 343.15
35 Uttar Pradesh 3634 2528 10254226 4056.26
36 Uttarakhand 299 272 320215 1177.26
37 West Bengal 1014 918 2648005 2884.54

 

Source: – National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) and MIS Portal of DoJ.