Realtors express concern on Supreme Court ruling on consumers vs builders disputes

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The Supreme Court has upheld the order of the NCDRC that flat buyers can jointly approach it in case of a dispute with a builder. (Reuters)

Realtors body CREDAI today expressed concern that the Supreme Court judgement that flat buyers can jointly approach the apex consumer commission NCDRC will open the floodgates of legal cases against builders. The Supreme Court has upheld the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that flat buyers can jointly approach it in case of a dispute with a builder. According to the Consumer Protection Act, if the cost involved is less than Rs 1 crore, the complainant has to first file the plea at the district consumer forum.

Commenting on the Supreme Court judgement regarding the Rs 1 crore criteria for the plea in NCDRC, Credai President Getamber Anand said: “While the Supreme Court judgement has brought a semblance of relief to the concerned home buyers, it has opened the floodgates on similar lawsuits which will look to bypass the due process set forth initially.”

“In such a scenario, any and all developers are vulnerable to the misuse of this precedent which, during this difficult and transitionary time for the sector increases confusion and uncertainty,” he added.

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Anand said the impetus right now should be to comfort homebuyers without laying undue burden on the developers who are working towards complying with the new administrative structure being brought in by the real estate regulatory law.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra rejected the appeal of Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt Ltd challenging the NDCRC decision on the ground that a plea can be filed directly before the apex consumer commission if the total value of the disputed deal is over Rs 1 crore and the 43 buyers could not have filed a joint plea before the NCDRC.

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