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Aggrieved home buyers in Maharashtra, may be able to look forward to an early and amicable resolution of their disputes with their developers, with Maharashtra becoming the first state in India to initiate the conciliation mechanism under Section 32 (g) of the RERA, by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The conciliation process will go online from February 1, 2018 and hearings before the conciliation benches are expected to commence from the first week of March 2018.
The conciliation process came about, through an initiative of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), a leading consumer body, along with the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) and the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), with full support from MahaRERA. Section 32 (g) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), provides for such conciliation, which is an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) for disputes under RERA.
Expressing his happiness at the formal launch, Niranjan Hiranandani, national president, NAREDCO, said, “This is the ideal scenario for home buyers and it represents empowerment of the customer. NAREDCO has been working on various initiatives towards this and collectively, as an industry, we welcome the launch of the Conciliation Council.”
There will be 10 Conciliation Benches set up for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and five Benches for Pune region. Each bench will have one conciliator of the MGP and one from either CREDAI Maharashtra, CREDAI-MCHI, or NAREDCO.
Location of Conciliation Benches
In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the Conciliation Benches will be functional, for the time being, from the offices of MahaRERA (Bandra east), the MGP’s Grahak Bhavan at JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle (west), CREDAI-MCHI and NAREDCO offices in Churchgate, Powai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. In Pune, the Conciliation Benches will operate from the MahaRERA office located in Aundh. In near future, the Conciliation Benches will also be set up in other regions.
Functioning of the Conciliation Benches
Any aggrieved allottee or promoter (as defined under RERA) can invoke the conciliation mechanism set up by MahaRERA. For this purpose, a dedicated website has been created and one can have access to it even via the MahaRERA website.
Process for conciliation
- The party initiating the conciliation will file his/her online application and the same will be automatically emailed to the other party.
- The other party has to convey his consent for conciliation, within seven days.
- On receipt of the consent from the other party, the first party shall make a payment of fees of Rs 1,000 plus GST.
- Thereafter, the matter will be referred to the appropriate Conciliation Bench and the parties will be intimated the date, time and venue of the hearing.
- Both parties are expected to be present in person or through their authorised representatives. (No advocates will be allowed.)
- Both the conciliators will facilitate resolution of the dispute between the parties, in an informal and amicable manner. In doing so, the conciliators will not be bound by the Civil Procedure Code or Indian Evidence Act.
- If the parties agree to any settlement, a ‘Consent Agreement’ will be drawn, which will be signed by the parties concerned and the conciliators.
- If the parties fail to reach an amicable settlement, the conciliation process will stand terminated and the parties concerned will be at liberty to pursue their dispute before the MahaRERA’s dispute redressal mechanism or before any other court or forum.
Vasant Prabhu, secretary of MahaRERA added that “This portal will prove to be extremely helpful for the consumer. Any consumer, for only Rs 1,000, can approach the nearest centre for the hearing, because the entire process of filing the complaint, along with the documents, is to be done online. Once the complaint is filed online, the said customer will be given a date for the hearing, where the customer and the developer can assemble, to sort out the differences. If this does not materialise into a settlement, then, the customer can formally lodge a complaint with RERA. The concilliators too can address the complaints, sitting at home. So far, there have been 1,600 complaints registered on RERA, out of which 46 per cent have been successfully resolved. Hence, we only hope that this portal will facilitate the process more seamlessly.”
Timeline for resolution of dispute
The Conciliation Bench is expected to arrive at the settlement within 45 days, from the date of reference to the Bench.
MahaRERA Conciliation and Disputes Resolution Forum
The functioning of the Conciliation Panels will be guided and monitored by the MahaRERA Conciliation and Disputes Resolution Forum (the Conciliation Forum). The said Conciliation Forum shall comprise of a core committee, consisting of two representatives each of CREDAI Maharashtra, CREDAI-MCHI, MGP and NAREDCO. The committee will be headed by the secretary of MahaRERA.
List of MahaRERA Conciliators
|1||Rohit Gera||CREDAI Pune||20||Prakash Baviskar||NAREDCO|
|2||Anil Pharande||CREDAI Pune||21||Shrikant Shitole||NAREDCO|
|3||Manish Jain||CREDAI Pune||22||Avinash Shirude||NAREDCO|
|4||Amar Manjrekar||CREDAI Pune||23||Abhay Kele||NAREDCO|
|5||IP Inmadar||CREDAI Pune||24||Varsha Raut||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|6||Rajnikant Ajmera||CREDAI Mumbai||25||Anita Khanolkar||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|7||Pravin H Doshi||CREDAI Mumbai||26||Archana Sabnis||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|8||Mohan Deshmukh||CREDAI Mumbai||27||Smita Jamdar||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|9||Paras Gundecha||CREDAI Mumbai||28||Sharmila Ranade||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|10||Chaitanya Parekh||CREDAI Mumbai||29||Subhash Soudagar||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|11||Praful M Shah||CREDAI Mumbai||30||Ajit V Shenoy||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|12||Rajesh Prajapati||CREDAI Mumbai||31||Uday Karnik||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|13||Ashit Shah||CREDAI Mumbai||32||Rajan D Samel||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|14||Niranjan Hiranandani||NAREDCO||33||Prakash Modak||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat|
|15||Rajan Bandelkar||NAREDCO||34||Tanuja Rahane||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat,|
|16||Mukesh Mehta||NAREDCO||35||Kalpita Ranade||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat,|
|17||Ashok Mohanani||NAREDCO||36||Shirish Mulekar||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat,|
|18||Yomesh Rao||NAREDCO||37||Sanjeev Kulkarni||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat,|
|19||Himanshu Jain||NAREDCO||38||Keshav Barve||Mumbai Grahak Panchayat,|