There has been generally a debate as to whether a home buyer would be entitled to compensation as a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act or as per the provisions of RERA.
The Supreme Court has addressed this issue in various cases and given the complainants the liberty to choose where they wish to file for the relief and has made it clear that even though a similar remedy is available in RERA, Consumers cannot be barred from filing a complaint in Consumer Court as per Consumer Act.
Since the complainants have the liberty to choose the forum for filing a complaint and ask for relief, let us see which forum is better considering different grounds.
When it comes to the issue of applicability, RERA is more suitable or has an upper hand because:
- It has a separate court dedicated for the purpose as compared against Consumer Courts that have the jurisdiction of a variety of subjects.
- As per its record, there is a higher probability that hearings would be faster in RERA.
- As can be seen, by the RERA Act, the distribution of any pecuniary limit claims is better than the consumer courts.
Comparing the ability to take cognizance in case of violation or infringement of either law or an agreement between the parties, RERA has the superiority because:
- It has been empowered to take suo-moto notice or to act on the complaints it receives regarding the subject.
- It has also been empowered to conduct investigations concerning the subject matter.
Comparing the two on the grounds of an easement with regards to filing a case, RERA is preferable because:
- It has a lesser lengthy and tedious procedure of filing the case as compared to Consumer courts where the procedure is much more complicated and lengthy.
- Since the relief and compensation in both the forums for the same complaint are more or less similar, it is preferred that an easier procedure is followed.
When it comes to judging based on the success of resolving issues in litigation, Consumer Court is preferred though both the forums have more or less similar records. Consumer Courts have slightly better statistics of records than RERA.
To conclude the article, depending upon the consumer needs, these factors can be put against the requirement of the consumer so that a conscious and sound decision can be made.
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