Mumbai: MahaRERA revises norms for conciliation forum functioning

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has issued revised guidelines for the functioning of the conciliation and dispute resolution forum to ensure speedy disposal of complaints and effective settlement of disputes arising between homebuyers and the real estate developers, real estate agents among other stakeholders.

The regulator is looking to streamline the process of hearing and disposal of the complaints referred to the said forum. For this, procedural guidelines are prescribed by MahaRERA for hearing of complaints referred to the forum by MahaRERA.

As per the revised rule, while assigning the complaints to the concerned functional Conciliation Benches, the office bearers of the forum need to scrutinize the seniority of the said complaints to keep its seniority intact. The assignment of not more than 10 complaints can be done at the initial stage.

The first hearing on such complaints is now expected to be conducted at least within 15 days and only after disposal of the assigned complaints, next lot of 10 complaints can be assigned to the conciliation bench.

In these referred conciliation complaints, all parties will be at liberty to be represented through advocates or authorised representatives, before the Conciliation Forum. Prior to this, complainants were not allowed to be represented by advocates in these conciliation proceedings.

In the referred conciliation matters, if the parties arrive at any mutual agreement, the concerned bench is expected to refer such complaints to MahaRERA within a period of one week together, duly with signed conciliation terms. After placing such matters before the MahaRERA and only after passing final order by MahaRERA, the said complaint will be treated as closed or finally disposed of.

If the conciliation between the parties fails, in that event, such complaints are expected to be transferred back to MahaRERA within a period of one week for taking appropriate decision on merits.

Anand Gupta, chairperson, Housing and RERA committee of Builders Association of India (BAI) said, "The revised guidelines will surely help settle the complaints at faster speed. As the timeline has been fixed, now first hearing on such complaints is expected to be conducted at least within 15 days. Also complainants' advocates can attend the conciliation proceedings, ensuring transparency."

Meanwhile, through another circular MahaRERA also expressed that the process of virtual hearing may continue for further time considering the present pandemic situation. Also efforts have been made to hear as many matters online as possible. However, it is observed that the number of complaints have been increasing day by day. The complaint registered before the

MahaRERA, scheduled for hearing is as per its seniority, which is decided as per the date of registration/ filing of the online complaint before the MahaRERA.

Same is applicable, even if a complaint is referred to the conciliation forum.

However, due to any unavoidable circumstances, if the seniority of any complaint has to be changed, in that event a proper/ reasoned justification should be submitted before the Chairperson/MahaRERA and only on the approval the seniority of such complaints could be changed.

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