India: Realty Sector Reality Check Tempers Home Buyer News

Last Updated: 31 July 2018
Practice Guide by Sachin Gupta

With the coming into force of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, home buyers have finally been recognized as financial creditors, at par with others in the same category. However, a reality check shows that a wider perspective is needed.

After a lot of deliberation and confusion home buyers were neither classified as financial creditors nor operational creditors in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), as originally enacted. This was a cause of worry since it deprived them of: (1) the right to initiate the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP); (2) the right to be on the committee of creditors (CoC) and (3) the guarantee of receiving at least the liquidation value under the resolution plan.

Home buyers give large advances for their purchase and a delay in possession may thus have a huge prejudicial impact on them. The term "time value" has been interpreted to mean "compensation or the price paid for the length of time" for which money has been paid. Thus, the Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) deemed it prudent to clarify that money raised under a real estate project from a home buyer falls within the provisions of section 5(7) as a financial creditor. The Committee thus concluded that the current definition of 'financial debt' is sufficient to include the amounts raised from home buyers/allottee under a real estate project, and hence, they are to be treated as financial creditors under the Code. Consequently, in a CIRP, they would be part of the CoC and be represented in the manner specified in the ILC's report, and in the event of liquidation, they would fall within the relevant hierarchy of creditors in terms of section 53 of IBC.

The fate of home buyers ultimately depends on the outcome of the whole insolvency process. Once the CIRP is invoked, there could be resolution of the company and home buyers may get their homes or a refund of part of their investment as may be decided by the CoC, where they have due representation and voting rights. However, if no resolution plan can be finalized and approved, the developer may go into liquidation severely jeopardizing the interests of the home buyers who may get nothing as they would be ranked as unsecured creditors and would be lower in the waterfall established under section 53 of IBC.

An issue that remains is the interplay and conflict in the application of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), and the IBC with respect to the applicability of the two enactments as far as rights of home buyers are concerned. RERA, which is aimed at maintaining transparency between buyers and developers at all levels, is believed to take a back seat to the IBC in situations relating to resolving a bankruptcy or distributing the sale proceeds of the assets of a company that could undergo liquidation.

RERA deals with sectoral laws, security and insurance to impart transparency and responsibility in the real estate sector while the IBC provides a framework for insolvency and subsequent liquidation of entities across sectors. Under section 238 of IBC the provisions of the IBC shall prevail in case of any overlaps or grey areas with any other statutory provisions. Likewise, section 89 of RERA provides that in case of inconsistencies between any other law and RERA, the provisions of RERA would prevail.

One must not forget that RERA and the IBC each have their own philosophy and set, defined objectives. Any issue relating to the determination of some rights of the buyer could be dealt with under RERA, while recovery proceedings could be treated under the provisions of the IBC. Depending on the objective and purpose to be met, the relevant law would be applicable in a particular situation.

Having said that, there remains a plethora of unanswered questions as to which set of laws, rules and jurisdiction arenas would have more applicability and relevance in terms of dealing with insolvency proceedings in the real estate sector.

As they say, the law of the land must prevail and assure justice. These are times when the Supreme Court, various authorities and legislative think-tanks will need to step forth and deal with the aftermath of such critical amendments and their possible impact. It is indeed impossible to ignore the plight of the home buyers, but at the same time assuring justice and protecting the interests of secured creditors and other stakeholders in case of the bankruptcy and insolvency of a corporate debtor is equally important. It remains to be seen whether the recent legislative developments will succeed in keeping the delicate balance between the said objectives.

Dhir & Dhir Associates is a leading full-service law firm in India. Sachin Gupta is a partner at the firm.

This article is for information purpose only. It is not intended to constitute, and should not be taken as legal advice, or a communication intended to solicit or establish commercial motives with any. The firm shall not have any obligations or liabilities towards any acts or omission of any reader(s) consequent to any information contained herein. The readers are advised to consult competent professionals in their own judgment before acting on the basis of any information provided hereby.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Contact the Author?
Click here to email the Author
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Other India Advice Centres
Arbitration, Litigation and Conciliation
Trademarks
More Advice Centers
Significant Recent Cases
Highlights of commercially relevant recent news and events.
Recent judgments and court decisions of interest.
Upcoming Events
Media from our most recent events and conferences.
Tools
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions