The Centre has told the Supreme Court that a robust regulatory mechanism and draft 'agreement for sale' already existed under provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, to balance the rights and interest of homebuyers and promoters in an accountable and transparent manner.
Citing Section 13 of the RERA, the Union government said it particularly dealt with 'agreement for sale' and restricted the promoter from not accepting any deposit or advance from the allottee without first entering into an agreement for sale.
The Union government further said it shared the draft 'agreement for sale' in 2016, after the enactment of the RERA with all the States and Union Territories. "Currently, all the States and UTs have notified rules under RERA except Nagaland with which the answering respondent is in discussion,” it added.
The Centre said it has discharged the duty by formulation of the Act and delegating the rulemaking upon the States for better implementation of the provisions of RERA.
The response from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs came on a PIL by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, seeking direction to it to frame a "model-builder agreement" and agent-buyer agreement in the real estate sector to infuse transparency and fairness, restraining builders and agents from indulging into unfair and restrictive trade practices.
In its reply, the Union government said the plea against it was infructuous, as "there is a robust regulatory mechanism and draft 'agreement for sale' has already been prescribed under the provisions of RERA which seeks to balance the rights and interest of homebuyers and promoters in an accountable and transparent manner".
"That interference by it in the powers vested upon the State under RERA would be an overreach and defeat the objective of the Act," the Centre said.
On November 8, the top court said a model builder-buyer agreement is an important matter in public interest, which is required in the real estate sector.
Upadhyay, for his part, had claimed that neither central government enforced the 'model builder buyer agreement' in the spirit of RERA nor did the state governments take action against promoters.
The Centre, however, said RERA sought to address vital issues of fair transactions, timely delivery, and quality construction through speedy adjudication of disputes, thus empowering the home buyers.
"If the developer fails to complete the project as per terms of agreement for sale, a homebuyer can either seek a refund of paid amount along with interest or ask for interest for every month of delay, till the handing over of the possession," the affidavit said.
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