NEW DELHI: The Centre has introduced an anti-discriminatory clause in the recently passed Real Estate Act making it clear that promoters can’t discriminate against anyone in the allotment of any apartment, plot or building on any ground.
In effect, those affected can approach the state-level regulatory authority, followed by the appellate tribunal. Under the Act, builders failing to adhere to the tribunal’s orders are liable to be penalised. The incorporation of the clause in the rules, which has been put up in public domain, comes after Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu had assured the Parliament about the matter during the debate on the passage of the Real Estate Bill. Several members had expressed concern over increased incidents of builders refusing to sell their flats based on caste, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, dietary choices etc.
The Ministry has given two weeks’ time to the general public for their suggestions before the rules are notified. The Bill was passed by Parliament on March 16 this year during the Budget Session.
The rules, though has diluted the penal provisions. Keeping the provision for payment of 10 per cent of the estimated cost of the project for compounding of imprisonment of promoter intact, it, however, says the promoter will be set free on payment of the amount. The same applies for real estate agent and buyers.
It states that “on payment of the sum of money any person in custody in connection with that offence shall be set at liberty and no proceedings shall be instituted or continued against such person in any court”.
Other provisions has remained untouched. The delay in payment by the promoter and buyer has been proposed to be the State Bank of India prime lending rate plus 2 per cent. The promoters, as per the rules, will be required to upload updates on the webpage of the project, within seven days from the expiry of each quarter, regarding plot status.