Jain Housing fined Rs 5 lakh for failing to register housing project with TNRERA

The expert has suggested that not only the walls required repairs, but also the beams/columns and slabs.
Jain Westminster complex
Jain Westminster complex (Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority (TNRERA) has fined Jain Housing Rs 5 lakh for failing to register the ‘Jains Pebble Brook’ project with TNRERA under section 3 of the Real Estate Regulation Act.

Disposing a complaint by S Lakshmi Narasimhan seeking refund with interest on the amount paid to Jain Housing towards purchase of a flat in Jains Pebble Brook at Okkiyam Thoraipakkam, over alleged structural instability, Sunil Kumar, single member of TNRERA, recently directed CMDA and Chennai Corporation to assess the safety and security of the building and take further action as deemed fit.

Narasimhan submitted before TNRERA that his block along with 12 other blocks got partial completion certificate in December 2014 from CMDA with a disclaimer regarding structural stability of the building. Narasimhan alleged that the final completion certificate was obtained only on March 19, 2021, and the developer’s liability with regards to structural defect gets extended as per the provisions of RERA act.

Narasimhan also contended that the structural defects were not rectified by the developer, which resulted in him hiring an expert to study the stability of the building. The expert has suggested that not only the walls required repairs, but also the beams/columns and slabs.

However, Jain Housing contended that the project fell outside the ambit of RERA as the project was partially completed before the RERA Act came into force. They claimed that there were few cracks which developed on the wall and repairs were carried out between December 2017 and January 2018.

Kumar said that since the blocks 1 to 13 were partially completed by 2014, they would not be covered within Section 3 of RERA Act and hence the complaint would not lie within the jurisdiction of the bench. However, he observed that blocks 16, 21 and 22 would come under the ambit of TNRERA as the completion certificate was awarded on March 19, 2021, and ordered the developer to register them with TNRERA.

Last year, the National Green Tribunal had directed Jain Housing to pay Rs 2.19 crore penalty imposed by the pollution control board for violating environmental laws while expanding ‘Pebble Brook’ project. Jain Housing is also facing legal issues over structural issues at the Jain Westminster apartment complex, which has four blocks and is occupied by 500 families. After residents began occupying the flats in 2016, it was alleged that after a couple of years, the building started developing leaks.

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