Photo of Abhilash Pillai

Partner in the real estate practice at the Delhi office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Abhilash has experience in advising real estate funds, multi-national companies, lenders, borrowers, retailers, institutional and non-institutional real estate investors, developers and operators in a broad range of business arena.

His practice areas include advising on all aspects of investments into real estate projects, creation of security, sale and purchase of real properties, including commercial leasing, due diligence, structuring, negotiation and documentation of the transaction, drafting and negotiating agreements relating to sale, mortgage, loans, license, construction, services, agency & franchise, litigation and arbitration related to real properties, among many others and advising domestic and international corporate clients on their general legal requirements.

Abhilash has been recognized in 2014 by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific India Guide to Law Firms. He can be reached at abhilash.pillai@cyrilshroff.com

Home Buyers are equivalent toFinancial Creditors Supreme Court Reigns

The Supreme Court in Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Limited vs. Union of India (Pioneer Judgment)[1], has upheld the constitutionality of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Act, 2018 (Amendment Act)[2]. Through the Amendment Act[3], the ‘real estate allottees’ (home buyers), as defined under Section 2(d) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), were brought within the ambit of ‘financial creditor’ under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).

A three judges’ bench headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rohinton Nariman disposed off a batch of over 150 petitions filed by the real estate developers challenging the constitutional validity of the Amendment Act. The Supreme Court also held that the RERA has to be read harmoniously with the IBC and, in the event of a conflict, the IBC will prevail over the RERA.


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No Occupancy Certificate - Criteria for Registration with RERA

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) in its recent order has held that mere non-procurement of an occupancy certificate by a developer does not make the developer liable to register the real estate project[1] under Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (Act).

This order has been passed following a complaint filed by Sulatana Dalal (Complainant) against Asia Group (Developer), before MahaRERA in relation to a project named as ‘Miracle Mall’ situated at Bhiwandi, Thane, Maharashtra. The Complainant’s contention was that even though the building was completely occupied, the Developer had failed to obtain an occupation certificate and committed breach of law. Against this background, the Complainant sought directions from MahaRERA to register the building under the provisions of the Act. 
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 70% Conundrum - Haryana RERA

There is a requirement under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (Act) to keep aside 70% of receivables from allottees in a separate, designated bank account (RERA Account). This has, from the outset, been viewed as a measure of great reform that would prevent siphoning of funds and ensure that money collected for the purpose of a particular project is, in fact, used for that project. However, the manner and method of utilisation and withdrawal of money lying in the RERA Account has always been a matter for considerable discussion and debate.

Illustratively, the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority has, in April 2019, directed banks not to adjust interest payments against the money that is required to be deposited in the RERA Account. This issue has recently come to the fore and become a matter of serious deliberation in Haryana.  
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Tamil Nadu Tenancy Law Post

The law relating to tenancy in the state of Tamil Nadu was earlier governed by The Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 (TNLRC Act). The said act was enacted for achieving three purposes[1]: (a) to regulate the leasing of residential and non-residential buildings; (b) the control of rents; and (c) to prevent unreasonable eviction of tenants.

This sexagenarian old TNLRC Act was enacted when the real estate industry was evolving. At that point of time, the supply of rental assets was limited and the ownership of assets was concentrated in the hands of few landlords. Therefore, the TNLRC Act was enacted as a piece of social reform to protect tenants from exorbitant rent and frivolous eviction but it was quite often tainted as a law as it was unfairly tilted towards the tenants.
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State Real Estate Authorities Powers

The Indian Real Estate industry is experiencing a major overhaul on account of the strict implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Act, 2016 (RERA), the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 2016 (PBPT Act) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Insolvency Code).

While implementation of RERA is gaining momentum across the country with each passing day, the State Real Estate Authorities (Regulator) established under the RERA have emerged as a powerful tool for ensuring proper and effective implementation of RERA by the states across India. This article aims to provide an overview of the powers and functions of the Regulator and how it is using these powers to protect the interests of property buyers in India.
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