The RERA, which was enacted in the year 2016, stood effective from 1st May 2017, is touted to be a buyer friendly legislation, aimed at creating transparency and uniform regularization in the realty sector. Karnataka Government, notified its draft RERA rules, in June 2017, wherein it had completely deviated from the Central RERA Act and had tweaked the definition of ongoing projects. According to the Karnataka RERA (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017, ongoing projects, are the projects, where the development is going on and for which the completion certificate is not issued excludes such projects which fulfill any of the following criteria on the date of notification of these rules, viz.
- where the streets and civic amenities, sites and other services have been handed over to the local authority and planning authority for maintenance
- where common areas and facilities have been handed over to the registered association consisting of majority of allottees
- where all development works have been completed as per the Act and certified by the competent agency and sale/lease deeds of sixty percent of the apartments/houses/plots have been registered and executed
- where all development works have been completed as per the Act and certified by the competent agency and application has been filed with the competent authority for issue of completion certificate /occupation certificate and where partial occupancy certificate is obtained to the extent of the portion for which the partial occupancy certificate is obtained.
The homebuyers organization in Karnataka, Residents Welfare Associations, Layout Site Owner’s Association were severely agitated by these developments, and have hence decided to resort to filing Writ Petitions, since the state regulation challenging the “explanation” attached to ‘ongoing projects’ rule in the Karnataka Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules 2017, saying that these “explanations” have “unlawfully permitted certain ongoing projects to evade the Central statute and that it contravenes the provisions of the Central Act by creating various means and ways for most of the ongoing projects to circumvent and deceive the buyers, which are a latent breach of federal comity. Would the High Court hear to the plea of the aggrieved home buyers group? Would we see a changed definition of ongoing projects? Would Karnataka RERA, accept the plea, given that it is already under the scanner for having technical glitches in the online forum?