Among these 285 orders, one was issued against the developers of a “much-delayed” realty project in Mumbai in 2019 after Malad residents Arun Sheth and his wife approached the MahaRERA to recover their investments in the project. “Even after the recovery order was issued and the Mumbai collectorate sent out a letter in May 2019, there has been no follow up. And with the pandemic now, all officials are busy in addressing the health crisis and have no time to implement the orders,” Sheth said.
The recovery warrant orders, under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, are issued by the MahaRERA adjudicating officers against the developers and forwarded to collectors for attachment of properties and recovery of dues. “To address the delay in the execution of such warrants at the earliest, the MahaRERA will set up a recovery cell,” MahaRERA chairman Ajoy Mehta to TOI.
The recovery cell will help execute the recovery warrants with the help of MahaRERA and district administration officials.
Chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association Ramesh Prabhu said once the MahaRERA issued a recovery warrant order and it is not complied by the respondent/promoters, the allottees could file a petition of non-execution of the order. “The MahaRERA conducts the hearing of execution petition and if the respondent does not comply with the orders, MahaRERA issues the recovery certificate/warrant against the promoters and then transfers it for execution to the collector of the district where the project is situated. The collector transfers it to the tehsildar to execute the order by following the procedure prescribed under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966. The challenge is that both the collector and the tehsildar are engaged in number of other activities and do not focus on recovery orders,” Prabhu said.
An advocate practising in the Bombay HC said even though the MahaRERA has power for recovering arrears, it is not as effective as rules and orders prescribed under the civil or criminal procedures. “We find orders for recovery falling short as revenue department gives less importance to RERA orders. An effective recovery mechanism is necessary,” advocate Manjunath Kakkalameli, also a RERA practioner, said.