Smiley, Faceless & RERA Ltd: These Are Your new RERA registered Agent, Promoter and Projects
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), set up to ensure safety and security of realty transactions by mandating that people only deal with registered and regulated entities, is already being manipulated. 
 
The game-changing RERA legislation of 2016 has been adopted by 20 states, with Maharashtra and Haryana taking the lead in implementing it as a state-level legislation. However, in many other States, RERA is apparently treated as a joke. 
 
Moneylife attempted a basic exercise to check how well the state RERA authorities are working. We started by calling helpline numbers available on the website to check if we could get useful answers (we called all 19 states everyday, over a span of three working days and received only seven responses the first day, and six responses the subsequent days). 
 
We repeatedly got the stock canned message: “Dial kiya gaya number busy hai” (the number you have dialled is busy, please try after sometime). Either the real estate markets are booming and hence, the RERA offices are buzzing with activity or there is something very wrong. We also sent emails to all 19 states; only Andhra Pradesh RERA responded!
 
Here is a list of the helpline numbers and email IDs we tried to use to contact the respective State RERAs. 
 
 
After a bit of sleuthing, we found several inconsistencies in websites of almost every state. We found issues with agents, promoters and projects in three specific state RERAs, which are not only illegal as per the Rules notified by the State, but are somehow allowed to be uploaded on this regulator’s registry. 
 
It is mandatory for Projects, Promoters and Agents to be registered, however if no defaulters’ registry is maintained then it permits defaulters to re-register making the registration process redundant. Currently RERA does not verify the information provided about the project, promoters or agents at the time of registration. The consumer has to visit the state RERA website and file a complaint if false information has been furnished. 
 
All state RERA websites are expected to maintain a defaulters list, which includes a list of rejected projects as well as promoters/agents who have failed to deliver on their commitment or have had action taken against them by the authorities. Most states have a defaulters list, however, as seen from the table below, they seem incomplete. Eight of the 20 RERA state websites do not even maintain a defaulters’ list. 
 
State RERA websites, which maintain a defaulters list:
 
 
All Projects, Promoters and Agents need to be registered with the State RERA. This information needs to be available on State RERA websites in accordance with the rules determined by each state. A simple scrutiny of these registrations threw up some curious revelations.
 
Agents – Smiley and the red dot:
 
In one case, RERA Jharkhand allowed a Smiley instead of a photograph to be registered as a real estate agent. 
 
 
There are several others like our friend on top, who have misused the RERA website for their own gain. We even spotted a puzzling red dot, which might indicate anything but the real estate agent’s actual face. In another case we found a stock photo from alamy.com uploaded in place of the agent’s photograph.
 
 
This information was also found on the RERA Jharkhand website alone.
  
RERA Jharkhand’s Rules prescribe that a photograph of the agent, along with a valid identity proof in the Form of a PAN Card be available on the website of the Authority. However, this has not been enforced. 
 
With agents uploading emoji, stock photos and puzzling dots as their profile pictures, one has to wonder 
What is going on?  
 
This is not a problem with RERA Jharkhand alone. We discovered that RERA portals across the country have similar problems. Many states have not established a proper verification mechanism, especially for promoters of projects. This brings us to our second problem. 
 
Promoters – Where are the promoter details?
 
Promoters are key to every real estate project and need to be compulsorily registered under RERA. They are responsible for development and constructions, conversion of existing buildings, plotting of land, commercial construction, colonizing, contractor development and estate development. They also need to release all details pertaining to the project, under Section 4(2) of the Act.
 
However, we have found several state RERA portals have not done this. 
 
The state of Delhi, under an Aam Aadmi Party government is one of them. However, the Delhi RERA website was a big surprise. It has only 30 projects registered. Of these, false or inadequate information is displayed for 12 projects. 
 
 
Section 14 (1)(a) of the Delhi RERA rules states that Promoter information such as, “name, address, contact details and photograph of the promoter in case of an individual and the name, address, contact details and photograph of the chairman, directors, partners, as the case maybe and that of the authorised persons” needs to be provided to the public. However, as we can see above, not all of this is provided, making the registration of the promoters’ very suspect. 
 
Another State with a similar issue is Punjab. We discovered that 13 out of 705 promoter contact details have not been provided on the Punjab state website (as of 3rd June 2019). However, if a detailed verification is to be conducted, the number of suspicious registrations found will rise. 
 
 
(Missing photo of promoter- marked in circle)
 
Section 15 of the Punjab RERA rules, clearly state that all promoters who are registering with Punjab RERA need to give details such as: 
 
“name, address and contact details and photograph of the promoter in case of an individual and the name, address, contact details and photograph of the Chairman, Directors, Partners, as the case may be, and that of authorised persons.” However, in the picture above, we see literally nothing but a picture of the Land of Five Rivers. 
 
Similarly, in Rajasthan the photographs of promoters, along with other details are not available. 
 
 Chapter 4 of Rajasthan RERA rules state “name, address, contact details and photograph of the promoter in case of an individual and the name, address, contact details and photograph of the chairman, directors, partners, as the case may be and that of authorised persons.”
 
We tried to verify the email IDs provided in the promoter’s registrations by using online email verification services, which may reasonably indicate the email IDs being provided are false.
 
 
Projects – Project or no Project?
 
 A real estate project needs to register under RERA, if it is under construction, or if the project is to be commenced. It is registered under Section 3 of the RERA Act, 2016 and must comply with the State Rules that have been notified. This is indisputable before any court of law in India. However, in the process, we forget that it has to be done properly. The Delhi RERA brings us, an example of this, yet again.
 
 
Based on our dipstick analysis, we conclude that, there is a lot of work to be done in ensuring proper implementation of RERA in India. This Act, which was meant to provide some semblance of a sense of security to current and prospective homeowners has been misused by several states, and ignored by many others. Some states cite constitutional issues, while others have not even put up a website for grievance redressal despite notifying it in their state.
 
Until state governments resolve this issue), it will defeat the purpose of the Act, by giving no quarter to a citizen being robbed of their hard-earned money by a dubious agent or promoter. We will have to deal with the shady Smileys and Faceless to buy a house today.   
 
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COMMENTS

SURAJIT SOM

3 weeks ago

It is clear that most promoters are basically looting people including those living in the capital city of Delhi. It is amazing that people have to put up with all this for buying a house . One can not live on street though many are forced to do so or live in slums. This also hampers economic development as construction is key to a lot of economic activities including employment. This kind of looting has a choking effect on economy and socio-economic life of our citizens.

Mukund Puranik

4 weeks ago

RERA officials never consider Tenants who are now buyer under redevelopment project as new buyers and totally exempted from RERA. Builders cum owners thereby force tenants to either vacate the premises or buy as per new market rate irrespective of tenants being there for last 50 years. CM once indicated in his talk to do something about tenants. Unless tenants are also brought under RERA and some amicable formula decided for them, builders will always threaten the tenants. Many of rules about tenants are mainly within Mumbai or old MHADA residents this gives chance to builder in rest of Maharashtra that these rules, concessions are not applicable to them or show them specific gazette. There are several buildings in rest of Maharashtra exclusively built for tenants. Government must look in to it and come out with suitable ordinance and enact law. Builders have tenancy to recover their present land cost and construction cost by forcing market rate to tenants and build tower to make abnormal profit. Moreover they have tendency to build apartments so that builder can still retain the land in their custody.
Such systematic loot prevention is the urgent need of hour and all tenants in Maharashtra will get good relief. Tenants are interested in new redevelopment but not at market rate after residing 50 years in the premises in the form of apartment. I am one of such victim and dealt with RERA as well as many Govt offices & social media but no solution till date. Hope Govt will take appropriate measure at least before elections applicable to whole Maharashtra.

Rakesh Modi

4 weeks ago

Its a sheer legal way of harrassing common people & extracting legal money from developers & also from common people by Rs.5000 for hearing. My ownership pvt. building was taken by developer Anand Dargar of Metro Group in Mulund west, Mumbai in 2015, for which he had demolished from BMC in the name of dilapidated status C1 category, for which me & my family was thrown out by police & still he has not able to get IOD/CC & not giving me rents since then. I met CM Fadnavis also who has issued an order also on 3/10/2016 for registering agreement but still it has not been done. I have Complained to MahaRERA for which 1st they orally said that unless builder has not registered with us, we cannot take any action on them & also they cannot help me as I am old building flat owner, RERA is for only new flat buyer. After RTI, they replied me in writing & have procured a letter on a plain paper from developer that whenever he'll get IOD/CC, he'll register with RERA. This they have not put up in the website also. I have made now 1st appeal on this. I met personaaly to Gautam Chatterjee also but he also said that as per present act, old flat owners may not benefit from this. An educated person in Mumbai in 2019 is suffering like this inspite of CM's order & MahaRERA, then what must be happening in remote areas of country with uneducated people...--Rakesh Modi 9819993972

VASANT KULKARNI

4 weeks ago

REALLY A NICE EXERCISE TO HELP PROSPECTIVE BUYERS/BANKER.

Harish

4 weeks ago

Thorough and Excellent Reporting by Krishna Nair and Aditya Joby. Keep it up.

Vishnu Prasad

4 weeks ago

Builders seem to have influence all over the judiciary system. I have an ongoing case where builder has taken 20 percent initial amount in cheque in 2013, but no building erected over the plot since then. Had gone to Maharashtra RERA office, but they said they can't help as the project is not registered in Rera. The same builder's another project is registered on Maha Rera website. I had gone to court, but the case is slogging since 1 year. Surprisingly, police has not submitted the report against builder, even though he was arrested by Economic Offences Wing earlier.

https://navimumbai.com/builder-nerul-caught-cheating-home-buyer-rs-1-15-crores/

Even with multiple cases against them, they are able to roam freely. There is hardly any hope for genuine buyers.

REPLY

Rakesh Modi

In Reply to Vishnu Prasad 4 weeks ago

Vishnu Prasadji kindly contact me on 9819993972

Rajesh

4 weeks ago

Joke is on buyers that all laws are framed for rich and powerful and not the common people. Common man is required to work and pay taxes, interest, GST, toll tax, local taxes, bribe and enjoy cricket.

Aditya G

4 weeks ago

Some of the state RERAs are using gmail accounts? Seriously? That's messed up!

The utter callous-ness of our collective mindset is so apparent when it comes to the rule of law. It's sad.

Just wondering which cabinet minister is reponsible for implementation of this law...?

SRamesh

4 weeks ago

Kindly share your opinion on working of RERA Karnataka, especially regarding resolution of complaints against promoters.

Breaking: SEBI Bars NDTV Promoters from Holding Office or Accessing the Securities Market for two years
An order by the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today could see major changes in the management structure of NDTV Ltd. The market regulator, acting on a complaint filed by Quantum Securities Pvt Ltd., in 2016-17 has acted against NDTV’s famous promoters  Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy as well as their investment company RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd.,
 
The detailed order ends with the following directions:
i. RRPR Holdings Pvt. Ltd., Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy are restrained from accessing the securities market and are further prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities, directly or indirectly buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities, directly  indirectly,  or  being  associated  with  the  securities  market  in  any  manner, whatsoever, for a period  of two years. It is also clarified that during the said period  of  restraint/prohibition,  the  existing  holding,  including  units  of  mutual shall remain frozen. Prannoy and Radhika Roy are also restrained from holding or occupying position as director or any key managerial personnel in NDTV for two years, or any other listed company for a period of one year.
 
The detailed order can be accessed here:
 
It is likely that NDTV’s promoters will contest the order. Moneylife has written about this case in 2013 when Sanjay Dutt of Quantam Securities first made the allegations against NDTV (Allegations of NDTV’s Many Shenanigans). In in 2015, we asked Who Really Owns NDTV? 
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COMMENTS

Aditya G

1 month ago

Why would they contest it? Consent order mechanism is there, no? It's the easiest way out. Just pay and wipe the slate clean.

RBI slaps Rs2 crore penalty on Kotak Mahindra Bank for not sharing promoter shareholding details
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Kotak Mahindra Bank for not complying with the central bank's directions to furnish details of its promoter shareholding.
 
The bank was directed by RBI to furnish information about details of the shareholding held by its promoters and to submit details of the proposed course of action or strategy of the bank for complying with the permitted timeline for dilution of promoter shareholding.
 
"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 20 million on Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited for noncompliance with the directions issued to the bank by RBI in exercise of its powers under sections 27(2) and 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act) to furnish information specified therein," said the RBI statement.
 
The bank was also directed to convey its commitment to achieve the dilution in promoter shareholding as per the timelines stipulated, but, the bank failed to comply with the said directions and a show cause notice was issued to the bank
 
"After considering the reply received from the bank, submissions made by the bank during personal hearing and the documents submitted by it, RBI came to the conclusion that the bank had failed to comply with the directions issued by RBI and decided to impose monetary penalty on the bank," it said.
 
The apex bank, however, noted that the action is based on the "deficiencies in regulatory compliance" and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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