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Consumer complaint by allottee against builder is not barred by RERA act

Consumer is a person or group who intends to order, orders or uses purchased goods, products, or services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or business activities. This has been regarded as the definition of consumer, but can this provision also apply to the Regulation and development act?

In a recent case the Supreme Court held that a complaint filed before consumer forum by the allottees against builders not barred by the Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act) 2016. In this case the complainant had booked apartments by executing Builder Buyer Agreements in 2013 he had approached the consumer commission which allowed the complaint and observed refund of the amount deposited by each of them. Here the question before the court was whether the bar specified under S.79 of RERA act would apply to proceedings initiated under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, whether there is anything inconsistent in the provision of Consumer Protection Act with that of the RERA act.

It was held that, a consumer forum/ commission is not a civil court and therefore observed that S.79 of the RERA act does not in any way bar the commission or Forum under the provisions of the CP act to entertain any complaint. The court stated that it is significant that S.100 is enacted with an intent to secure the remedies under the new Consumer Protection Act dealing with protection of interest of consumers, even after the RERA act was brought in force. The court thus dismissed the appeals, imposing costs of Rs. 50,000 to be paid by the builder in respect of each consumer case.

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