'Important Matter in Public Interest': SC on Model Builder-buyer Agreement
IANS 09 November 2021
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday said a model builder-buyer agreement is an important matter in public interest, which is required in the real estate sector, and sought Centre's reply in the matter.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj: "Government has the power to make a model builder-buyer agreement under RERA. Please look into it and file your reply by November 22."
It added that a group of home-buyers has come to the top court seeking such model agreement and told the law officer that it is not an adversarial matter.
The bench also asked the petitioner in-person advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to prepare a short note on the issue and share it with the Centre's counsel along with the petition.
The SC on 4th October had issued a notice on a plea seeking direction to the Centre to frame a 'model builder agreement' and agent-buyer agreement in the real estate sector to infuse transparency and fairness, and restrain builders and agents from indulging into unfair and restrictive trade practices.
"This is an important issue on the protection of buyers," it said, adding that "often (this issue) is put on back foot by clauses in agreements made by builders."
The bench noted that a uniform builder-buyer agreement is required to be framed by the Centre to protect the interests of lakhs of home-buyers. It observed the plea raises the grievance that in the absence of model agreement, flat purchasers are left at the mercy of developers regarding the terms and conditions.
The bench pointed out once the model buyer-builder agreement is framed by the Centre, then it may direct the state governments to follow it. It emphasised that it is an important issue of consumer protection and often builders get away by putting any clause. "This purpose has to be achieved in the country," it observed.
The SC was hearing a plea filed by Mr Upadhyay, who was represented by senior advocate Vikas Singh. During the hearing, Mr Singh submitted that the Centre should give guidance at least, and emphasised the importance of a model builder-buyer agreement.
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