Representatives of all the portals that TOI spoke to refuted the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat’s contention that they facilitate sale and purchase of plots and apartments like other housing agencies. The consumer body made its contention in a complaint to MahaRERA.
Sudhir Pai, CEO of Magicbricks, said they are “intermediaries” as per the Information Technology (IT) Act, but do not carry out any property transactions, so they do not qualify as real estate brokers.
“Magicbricks is a classifieds portal and we operate like an advertising platform for landlords, brokers and builders. We do not handle property transactions ourselves, neither do we offer such services to property buyers, nor are we privy to any sale transaction between the developer and end customer at any stage,” he said. Pai said the Magicbricks platforms, including the search option and buyers’ category, have been updated to be fully RERA-compliant. The upgrade will enable developers to post their advertisements in accordance with RERA guidelines.
Amitendra Singh Antal, vice president (legal) of Info Edge (India) Ltd, which operates the web portal 99acres.com, said, “We are a digital platform where people publish and display information about their properties as per the applicable guidelines. Our revenues are not linked to how a property transaction pans out.”
Dhruv Agarwala, chief executive officer of Housing.com and Makaan.com, both portals operated by Elarat Technologies Pvt Ltd, also said they were only advertising platforms.
MahaRERA issued a show-cause notice to the portals on July 31 seeking an explanation by August 29 about why they have not registered with the authority.