Orissa HC Seeks Govt Clarification On Operation Of Apartment Act

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has directed the state government to file an affidavit clarifying the operation of Odisha Apartment (Ownership and Management) Act.

A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Justice SK Sahoo issued the order on Wednesday after hearing a PIL filed by Bimalendu Pradhan, a resident of Bhubaneswar.

The Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department had formulated the Apartment (Ownership and Management) Act on October 13, 2023. It published the rules for operation of the Act on February 16, 2024. The Inspector General of Registrations (IGR) issued a letter to all registering officers of the state on February 21, directing to strictly adhere to the rules while registering the apartments.

Pradhan, in his petition to the High Court, alleged inaction on the part of the IGR against illegal registration of sale deeds of flats in multi-storey apartments which do not have occupancy certificate and registration of apartment owners or allottees association certificate.

Advocate Mohit Agarwal, representing the petitioner, told the court that though the department notified the Odisha Apartment Rules, 2023, the ‘competent authority’ for registration of allottees associations has not been notified.

Hearing the petition, the bench said Section 23 of the Act confers upon the state government the power to notify official not below the rank of deputy collector as the competent authority for issuing certificate of registration association of allottees within the local limit.

“We have not been able to find out whether competent authority has been notified or not,” the TNIE quoted the bench as saying. “We are of the view that the Act cannot be said to be workable in the absence of notification,” it added.

The bench directed the government to file a detailed counter-affidavit stating whether proper notification has been issued as per Section 23 of the Act.

It also ordered the IGR to inform the court about the action it proposed to take on the registration of apartments that have been allowed by the sub-registrars in contravention of the Act.

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