MahaRERA Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Forum – Know About Its Guidelines for Effective Disposal of Complaints

Blog   wpadmin   June 7, 2021

Executive Summary:

      • The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has issued guidelines for functioning of the conciliation forum that aims to resolve issues between homebuyers and real estate developers.
      • With these guidelines in place, regulator looks to streamline process of hearing and disposal of complaintsreferred to the said forum.

Introduction:

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 came into existence into force from May 2017. The key objective of this act is the regulation of the real estate industry in every nook and corner of the country. Every state has its own RERA authority which oversees and regulates the real estate sector. Maharashtra was one of the first states to implement the RERA and established the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA); vide Notification No. 23 dated 8thMarch 2017, for regulation and promotion of real estate sector in the State of Maharashtra, with its headquarters at Mumbai.

The MahaRERA authority provides citizens the complaints filing service, as per the Act, wherein any aggrieved person may file a complaint with the Authority or the adjudicating officer, as the case may be, with respect to any registered real estate project, for any violation or contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules and regulations made there under.

On 29thJanuary, 2018, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority vide Circular No. 15/2018 established MahaRERA Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Forum hereinafter referred to as “Forum” to facilitate resolution of disputes amicably, thereby saving cost and time of litigation to parties and State, promoting greater public satisfaction with legal system and dispute resolution.

Objectives of Forum:

  • Establishing a panel of eminent conciliators representing association of consumers and that of promoters.
  • Harmonizing amicable and effective settlement of disputes arising with reference to Real Estate (Resolution and Development) Act, 2016, under various Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms.
  • Constitute effective dispute resolution mechanism from the point of cost and speedy settlement of commercial disputes.
  • Co-ordination with ADR proceedings by establishing facilities and providing administrating services.

Procedure for referring conciliation to Forum by MahaRERA or Adjudicating Officer of MahaRERA:

The MahaRERA vide circular no. MahaIRERA Order No: 06 / 2018, dated 29th November, 2018 issued following guidelines in respect of conciliation referred to Forum by MahaRERA or Adjudicating Officer of MahaRERA:

  • When a complaint is being heard by MahaRERA or an Adjudicating Officer of MahaRERA and the said authority is satisfied that there is a possibility of settlement by way of conciliation, then with the consent of both the parties involved it may refer the complaint to a designated bench of the Maharashtra Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Forum.
  • The Authority while referring the complaint, to provide a time period before which the conciliation panel should submit its report.
  • The conciliation panel shall make sincere efforts to complete the conciliation proceedings before the deadline fixed in the matter and submit its report to the said authority.
  • The authority in deciding the case shall take that into record the report of the conciliation bench.

Procedural Guidelines for Online Complaints:

The MahaRERA has issued following revised guidelines (vide Circular No: 3l/2021 dated 18th May, 2021)to streamline theprocess of hearing and disposal of the complaints referred to the forum and 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.

Procedure for referring conciliation to Forum by MahaRERA or Adjudicating Officer of MahaRERA:

The MahaRERA has issued following revised guidelines (vide Circular No: 3l/2021 dated 18th May, 2021)to streamline theprocess of hearing and disposal of the complaints referred to the forum and 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.

  • 1. On receipt of complaints from MahaRERA, the office bearers of the forum need to scrutinize the seniority of the said complaints to keep its seniority intact. While assigning the complaints to the concerned functional Conciliation Benches, the assignment of not more than 10 complaints can be done at the initial stage.
  • 2. Once assignment of matter is done to the concerned conciliation bench, the bench shall within a period of 1 week issue notice of first hearing to the parties. The 1st hearing has to be conducted within 15 daysand only after disposal of the assigned complaints, next lot of 10 complaints can be assigned to the conciliation bench.
  • 3. Parties are at liberty to represent in person or through representatives.Prior to this, complainants were not allowed to be represented by advocates in these conciliation proceedings.
  • 4. In the referred conciliation matters, if the parties arrive at any mutual agreement, is expected to refer such complaints to MahaRERA within a period of one week together, duly with signed conciliation terms.
  • 5. After placing such matters before the MahaRERA and only after passing final order by MahaRERA, the said complaint will be treated as closed/finally disposed of.
  • 6. If the conciliation between the parties fails, in that event, such complaints are to be transferred back to MahaRERA within a period of one week for taking appropriate decision on merits.

This procedure should be followed scrupulously by the office bearers and all the benches of Conciliation Forum to ensure timely / speedy disposal of complaints assigned to them.

Conclusion:

It is expected that the revised guidelines laid down by MahaRERA in respect of handling online complaints referred to MahaRERA Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Forum will surely help settle the complaints at faster speed and ease the burden caused due to waiting time especially in covid times. 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.

Regards,
Legal Team

Proind Business Solutions Private Limited
306, Tower B, I-thum, Plot No A-40, Sector 62, Noida, UP, India- 201301
No.: +91 120 4224203
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