In a move to check builders from fleecing flat buyers and flouting norms, the state special inspector general of police has issued a circular to commissioners of all zones to register complaints again
In a move to check builders from fleecing flat buyers and flouting norms, the state special inspector general of police has issued a circular to commissioners of all zones to register complaints against errant builders and initiate penal action against them.
The move has received a mixed reaction from various stakeholders with activists welcoming the move but the builder lobby airing fears of it being misused for extortion and blackmail by vested interests.
The circular issued by Prabhat Kumar, has referred to clause 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act, 1963 that highlights various grounds on which the builder can be held liable.
The clauses include not procuring occupancy certificate before handing over flats on the promised date, building beyond the sanctioned plans or illegal extensions over and above the approved plans by the municipal corporation. The circular has also recommended action against builders who fail to register the agreement after accepting 20 per cent of the price or fail to form a housing society within four months of handing over the flats.
According to Mr Kumar, the move was prompted after a delegation of activists made a representation to the DG enumerating the various laws under which the police can initiate action against errant builders and developers.
Welcoming the order, the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA) explained, “There have been many flat owners who end up running from pillar to post to lodge complaints against the builders, but are unable to do so due to several legal hassles involved. MSWA has been helping such people get justice till now. However, with theDG of police issuing a clear order in this regards, police has to register an FIR in the nearest police station as all police stations have been advised to take necessary FIR against such erring or defaulting developers and builders.”
Builders and developers have however said that the order will act as a detriment and will be used as a tool for blackmail by vested interests. Asgar Kaleem, a Bandra-based developer, said that they were not solely responsible for the delays or violations as at times the relevant authorities used to keep the matter pending.
“It is not that the developer or builder is always guilty. At times even when we try to get the legal aspects taken care of, the various authorities keep delaying the process till they are not gratified. Under such circumstances, this circular will set a precedent of corruption over and above the existing practices,” said Mr Kaleem.