Real Estate Appellate Tribunal Does Not Have Power to Initiate Suo Motu Proceedings


Shivani Thakur

Published on: May 27, 2022 at 18:40 IST

The Delhi High Court held that the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Appellate Tribunal) does not have powers to initiate cases Suo motu while setting aside such proceedings initiated by the tribunal to monitor construction activity in the National Capital Territory.

The Bench held that the jurisdiction of the Appellate Tribunal stands confined to consideration of challenges raised against orders passed by either the RERA.

The Act does not vest or confer any authority or jurisdiction upon the Appellate Tribunal to initiate proceedings on its own motion,” the Single Justice Yashwant Varma held.

In his case, Appellate Tribunal had registered Suo moto proceedings in respect of various residential and commercial projects and construction activities being undertaken in connection with the same in the national capital and had passed orders of restraint against such projects.

Praveen Chhabra, a builder developer approached the High Court after he was informed that the plans he had submitted could not be approved in light of the Appellate Tribunal order.

“The Appellate Tribunal proceeded on the incorrect and unfounded premise that all projects were liable to be compulsorily registered under the Act,” the High Court said.

Sections 43 and 44 of the Act do not confer, recognize or envisage any original or plenary power or authority being exercised by the Appellate Tribunal. The authority of the Appellate Tribunal stands confined to consideration of challenges that may be laid to orders passed by either the Authority or the Adjudicating Authority,” the Bench held.

The Court held “The Appellate Tribunal is a creation of statute. It is not an authority which may be recognised as being vested with inherent powers. …Tribunal is not part of the hierarchy of traditional judicial institutions which constitute the judicial system of our country. It is an appellate forum whose origin and formation stems from the provisions of the Act.”

The Court observed while cancelling the order, “The Court also takes into consideration the significant portent of the direction issued. It has practically injuncted all construction activity in the NCT of Delhi. The aforesaid injunction is not shown to have been preceded by any enquiry with respect to the validity of a particular project or even a prima facie assessment or evaluation of the validity of a single project.”

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