The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) has ruled that a housing project will not require to be registered if it received Occupancy Certificate or deemed approval for occupation prior to 1st August, 2017. The ruling was given by the Tribunal today while deciding an appeal filed by M/s. Saraighat Builders Pvt. Ltd. against a decision of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority(RERA), Assam.

Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 stipulates that the promoters of the real estate projects which were ongoing on the date of the commencement of the Act and for which Completion Certificate had not been issued were required to make an application to the concerned RERA for registration of the projects within a period of 3 months from the date of commencement of the Act. Under the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Act, 2010 and the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Byelaws, 2014, it is only an “Occupancy Certificate” and not a “Completion certificate” that can be issued by the concerned civic authority. Further, as per the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Act, 2010, if the work is not inspected and an Occupancy Certificate is not granted or refused within 21 days from the date of receipt of Completion Certificate from the owner, it shall be deemed that approval has been tendered, permitting occupation of the building concerned.

In Assam, Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 came into force with effect from 01.05.2017. Therefore, an ongoing project was required to make application to the RERA, Assam for registration within a period of 3 (three) months, i.e., by 01.08.2017.
In the case of M/s. Saraighat Builders Pvt. Ltd., the RERA Assam held that they had applied for occupancy certificate of part of their project ‘Radha Niketan’ on 30.06.2017. Since on 1st May,2017, it was an ongoing project, it required to be registered. The RERA,Assam imposed a fine of Rs.2,50,000.00 on the promoter for the violation and directed him to apply for registration of the project.

While deciding the appeal against the order, the Tribunal held that if before initiating the process for registration within the three-month window, the concerned project or part of it receives an Occupancy Certificate or if occupation of the building is deemed to have been approved, that part of the project/building must be considered to have been completed and would not require registration. Setting aside the order of the RERA, Assam, the Tribunal held that the real estate project of the appellant did not require registration, as it received deemed approval within the three-month window, i.e. prior to 01.08.2017.

The Tribunal further clarified that cut-off date for receiving Occupancy Certificate has to be 01.08.2017 and not 01.05.2017 which would take within its fold a deemed approval for occupation.
The order was passed by Mr. Justice (Retd.) Manojit Bhuyan, Chairperson and Shri Onkar Kedia, Member, Assam REAT.

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