CUTTACK: The Orissa high court has set February 9 as deadline for the state government to give a reply on non-appointment of a competent authority for registration of Association of Apartment Owners required under the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982.

Initially, under the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982, the director of town planning, was appointed as competent authority under the Act. However, with the amendment of the Act in 2015, the power of director of town planning as the competent authority had ceased, and a new competent authority was to be appointed.

Dilip Kumar Jena, a resident of Kausatav apartment in Bhubaneswar’s Patia area had filed a petition seeking judicial intervention against the state government’s inaction in appointment of a competent authority since amendment of the Act five years ago.

When the petition was taken up for hearing through video conference on Monday, lawyer Mohit Agarwal appearing on behalf of the petitioner contended that not a single association of apartment owners in the state has been registered due to non-appointment of competent authority and an absolute vacuum-like situation is prevailing.

Taking note of it, the single judge bench of Justice S Pujahari issued notice to the state government and asked the state counsel to take instructions in the matter by February 9, the date fixed for next hearing.

According to the petition the amended provisions of the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982 prescribed formation of an association of apartment owners to undertake the maintenance and use and upkeep of common facilities in the apartment.

Accordingly, every association of apartment owners ought to have its bye-laws and the owners of the flat ought to subscribe to the said bye-laws. The bye-laws were to be submitted and registered with the competent authority so as to ensure compliance of the bye-laws.

The petition said the director of town planning had moved the principal secretary, housing and urban development department for appointment of the competent authority through a letter on April 15, 2017, but the same has not been complied with, the petition said.



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