Rajasthan HC ‘reads down’ RERA to include CA/CS/CWA for respondents: Drafting error corrected!

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  • Last Updated on 2 May, 2022

CA/CS/CWA; RERA;

[2022] 137 taxmann.com 480 (Article)

An interesting issue came before Rajasthan High Court where Real Estate Appellate Tribunal denied representation to respondent on the ground that Section 56 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 only permitted the applicant/appellant to be represented by Chartered Accountants or Company Secretaries or Cost Accountants (CA/CS/CWA). The Tribunal denied the representation of CA stating that the representation cannot be allowed in terms of Section 56. This article attempts to discuss the important judgement in the matter of Sanjay Ghiya v. Union Of India (D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 18078 of 2018) dated 4-3-2022.

One Suresh Chand Jain submitted an appeal before the RERA Tribunal against the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) for redressal of his grievance. JDA appointed the petitioner-CA as its counsel to appear before the Tribunal to defend the case on behalf of the JDA. Acting under the instructions of JDA, he prepared a written submission and appeared before the Tribunal but the same was not taken on record by saying that CA is barred from appearing before the Tribunal. Thereafter, the JDA in order to safeguard its interest communicated one Tejram Meena, Advocate to represent its case before the Tribunal.

Literally, Section 56 does not permit the legal practitioner to appear on behalf of the respondent but still the Tribunal allowed the JDA to appear through Advocate and denied the CA like the petitioner to appear on behalf of the respondent. The petitioner has challenged the legality and validity of Section 56 of the Act by filing a writ petition on being aggrieved by the impugned orders passed by the Tribunal and also being aggrieved by the impugned exclusion of the word “Respondent” to Section 56 of the RERA Act.

The Court considered that the quasi-judicial authority are required to follow principles of Natural Justice. It is the duty of every person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial function to act in good faith and to listen fairly to both the sides before passing any order. In case, if any authority proceeds without giving a fair opportunity of hearing to the other party, then such action would be violative of principles of natural justice of fair hearing as well as violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

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