Mumbai: Centre to hold round table conference for aggrieved home buyers on April 18

Mumbai: Centre to hold round table conference for aggrieved home buyers on April 18

At present, 10% of pending cases at consumer forums relate to the real estate or housing sector

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, April 17, 2023, 10:08 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Centre’s Department of Consumer Affairs will today (Tuesday) hold a round table conference on “how to effectively redress the grievances pertaining to the real estate sector”. It will be attended by nearly 60 stakeholders and chaired by the department secretary to look at ways to redress grievances and ensure that cases do not land up at consumer commissions. The event will be attended by representatives of builder bodies, and consumer commissions and bodies.

10% of pending cases at consumer forums relate to the real estate or housing sector

At present, 10% of pending cases at consumer forums relate to the real estate or housing sector. So far, since the inception of consumer commissions, 2,30,517 cases have been filed. Of these, 1,76,895 cases have been disposed of and 53,622 cases (including the first week of April) are still pending. As on March 31, 53,518 cases linked to the housing sector were pending, of which 26,085 were pending before consumer commissions, 17,666 before the state commissions and 9,767 before the national commission. 

Department of Consumer Affairs secretary Anupam Mishra said that the purpose of the round table is to take a note of the rising number of cases at consumer commissions despite various other tribunals. “We did a sector-wise analysis and found that one-third were in the insurance sector, followed by housing. Not just speedy disposal, we want to ensure complaints don’t emerge,” he said. The Centre, earlier this year, had organised a meeting for the insurance sector in Delhi.

Advocate Shirish Deshpande, the chairman of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, appreciated that the government is seized with the problems commissions are facing. “Earlier, too, they had identified ‘insurance’ as the sector that gets maximum complaints. A round table happened with insurance firms, the regulatory authority and consumer bodies. We tried to come up with a solution and how to avoid delays in consumer courts,” he said.

"Pre-litigation mediation is better and will also work for home buyers"

Deshpande said mediation is a shortcut but there are difficulties. “Pre-litigation mediation is better and will also work for home buyers. There are defined time limits but cases are not being disposed of in consumer courts and RERA. Hence pressure is building on the government,” he said, adding that certain laws are in conflict. “For example, when buyers move the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), they get a moratorium on all cases against builders. In such cases everything comes to a standstill. Such conflicts should not come up,” he added.

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