Pre-deposit for tribunal to entertain appeal upheld

Pre-deposit for tribunal to entertain appeal upheld

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of a provision in the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, mandating pre-deposit of a certain amount for the appellate tribunal to entertain an appeal against an order passed either the Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer.

The ruling by the Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan came on a bunch of petitions challenging a proviso to Section 43(5) of the Act. Among other things, the proviso says “where a promoter files an appeal with the appellate tribunal, it shall not be entertained, without the promoter first having deposited with the appellate tribunal at least 30 per cent of the penalty, or such higher percentage as may be determined by the appellate tribunal, or the total amount to be paid to the allottee, including interest and compensation imposed on him”.

Taking up bunch of petitions filed by Experion Developers Private Limited and other petitioners, the Bench affirmed the orders passed the appellate tribunal, declining to grant the petitioners further time to make pre-deposit beyond the date stipulated by it or where the appeals were rejected following the petitioners’ failure to make pre-deposit as directed.

The Bench, at the same time, issued directions for giving a last opportunity to the petitioners to make pre-deposit in a time-bound manner. It added that grounds were not made out to persuade the court to exercise its writ jurisdiction to grant waiver of pre-deposit. In none of the cases was the court satisfied that a case of ‘genuine hardship’ had been made out.

“A collective reading of provisions makes it apparent that when it comes to refund of the amount, and interest on the refund amount, or directing payment of interest for delayed delivery of possession, or penalty and interest thereon, it is the authority which has the power to examine and determine the outcome of a complaint,” the Bench asserted.

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