MUMBAI: Victims of discrimination have given the thumbs up to the proposed anti-discrimination clause in the new Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, which will prohibit builders from discriminating against buyers on the basis of religion, caste and eating habits. They have also hailed the provision to penalize violators of this much-needed rule.
In 2009, Plavisha Aslam, then a creative assistant with a television production company , was denied flats by halfa-dozen brokers who showed her flats but backed out once they knew she was Muslim. “I am glad the government is introducing such a rule. This will be a big relief for citizens like me who are refused flats because of their religion,“ said Aslam, now creative head with Rajshree Entertainment Pvt Ltd. She added that her ordeal has not ended as even today she lives with a Hindu roommate in a rented flat. “The landlord refused to put my name in the agreement paper but has no problem in taking rent, which goes from my bank account. This is so hu miliating. I hope things will change once this anti-discrimination clause is brought in,“ she said.
Vasai resident Vaqar Ahmed Khan, whom a housing society initially refused to issue an no-objection certificate even as the owner of a flat, a Gujarati Hindu, had sold it to him, hailed the new rule. “My sense of pride as an Indian was severely hurt when the housing society passed a resolution asking flat owners not to sell or rent out the flats to Muslims. After the issue was highlighted by the media, the society withdrew its controversial resolution and even apologized to me. I have bought the flat and will move in soon,“ said Khan who welcomed the state’s decision to introduce an anti-discrimination clause in the housing Act.