Says project advertised by consultancy firm not registered with it.
Mumbai: In a first, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has levied a fine of Rs 1.20 lakh on a real estate consultancy firm, Sai Estate Consultants, for allegedly misleading the general public by advertising a project that had not been registered with the authority in several newspapers and tabloids. The RERA contended that the advertisement misled the general public about the project and its association with the consultancy firm allegedly gave an impression about it being registered.
On Monday, MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee confirmed the development. MahaRERA has asked Sai Estate to refrain from advertising any project for marketing, booking and selling or offer for sale any building or apartment, which is not registered with MahaRERA.
“Sai Estate Consultant shall put stickers on the future advertisements that as per the directions of MahaRERA and shall pay a penalty at the rate of Rs 10,000 for 12 days taking the amount to Rs 1.20 lakh,” read the order given by MahaRERA on Monday.
According to the provisions of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Act, every project that does not have an occupation certificate (OC) cannot be promoted or advertised without registering the same with the authority.
MahaRERA had issued a notice on June 1, 2017 with a subject of ‘unfair trade practice’ on Sai Estate Consultants’ part and had called in for a hearing on Monday.
“It appears that this is a deliberate attempt on your part to cause impression in the mind of general public that the project you are advertising is duly registered with MahaRERA. Your conduct amounts to be punishable under Section 62 of the MahaRERA Act,” reads the notice issued to Sai Estate.
Meanwhile, Sai Estate that it has accepted its mistake and will pay the fine. Amit Wadhwani, director, Sai Estate Consultants, said, “We are a RERA-complaint firm and we totally believe in carrying out lawful business practices. We accept the order of the authorities and will pay up the fine for the same. We will follow all the rules and carry out our business practices accordingly.”
According to the RERA Act, all the real estate agents and without OC projects by builders will have to be compulsorily registered on the RERA’s website before advertising them.