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Mrunal Manmay Dash

In an important judgement, the Odisha High Court has ruled that no new apartment sale deed registration can take place in the state if the RERA Act is not complied with.

The High Court expressed concern that sale deeds conveying common areas to the individual owners of apartments were getting registered by the builders on a daily basis in violation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) - RERA Act, 2016.

Hearing a petition filed by Bimalendu Pradhan, the division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice RK Pattanaik directed the Inspector General of Registration (IGR) to strictly ensure that the sale deeds registered hereafter strictly abide by the RERA Act.

As per the RERA Act, transfer of common areas should only be transferred in favour of the association of apartment owners. Sale deeds presented for registration which states otherwise cannot be allowed to be registered by the IGR.

Highlighting the above law, the bench further said, "It should not be difficult therefore for the IGR to issue instructions in this regard to all sub registrars."

Speaking to OTV, the petitioner, Bimalendu Pradhan, said, “The High Court has said that illegal works done by the apartment builders should be stopped with immediate effect. No sale deed or conveyance deed can be registered without registering with the RERA first.”

A lawyer in the know of things said, “The order of the court means no more sale deed registration of any apartment, if the project does not have occupancy certificate or not registered in ORERA or does not have an association of allottees.”

“This is a "first in India" judgement as it will stop registration of almost all projects in the state immediately. This will create a state of confusion in the sub-registrar offices across the state, the lawyer said.

“The State government not bringing any law for registration of Association is the primary reason for this chaotic situation. Further, lack of will, and/or the deliberate attempt of not implementing the RERA law in the state in letter and spirit is anti-people and makes the government the real culprit in this whole story,” he added.

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