The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), in its first action since it was incepted on May 1, has penalised a Chembur-based real estate consultancy firm, Sai Estate Consultants (SEC).
The notice was served on Monday where the Authority imposed a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh on the firm for publishing a ‘misleading advertisement’ of an ongoing construction project, as reported by The Indian Express.
According to the notice, Sai Estate had put up the advertisement of a Thane project for Haware Builders on a leading Marathi newspaper on June 1. However, the project was yet to be registered with RERA.
Established last month, the authority’s website clearly reads “No promoter shall advertise, market, book, sell or offer for sale, or invite persons to purchase in any manner any plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, in any real estate project or part of it, in any planning area within Maharashtra, without registering the real estate project with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority(MahaRERA).”
The issue came to light when the consumer protection group, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) lodged a complaint. The group’s head of advocacy and campaign, Varsha raut, said that the advertisement gave readers the impression that the project was registered and approved by RERA.
Accepting the complaint, the real estate regulator issued a notice to Sai Estate Consultants and asked them to provide a justification before June 5. As per Mumbai Mirror, the notice states, “It appears that this is a deliberate attempt on your part to create an impression in the mind of the general public that the project that you are advertising is duly registered with MahaRERA. Your conduct amounts to unfair trade practice within the provisions of the RERA Act and the same is punishable under Section 62 of the Act.” If found guilty, the firm can be asked to pay a fine of up to 5% of the project’s total cost.
SEC is now directed to pay a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh.
The Indian government had enacted the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 and all the sections of the Act had come into force with effect from May 1, 2017. Under this Act, the Government of Maharashtra established Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), vide Notification No. 23 dated 8 March 2017, for regulation and promotion of real estate sector in the State of Maharashtra.
The Logical Indian appreciates MahaRERA for taking prompt action on the complaint by Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.