MahaRERA has now come up with certain steps to give justice at a speed. Adjournment of cases won’t be that easy to get.
By Varun Singh
Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (MahaRERA) has been established to adjudicate and for speedy dispute redressal.
Section 31 of the Act, enables any aggrieved person to file a complaint with MahaRERA, for any violation or contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules and regulations.
MahaRERA shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to the other provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder, the MahaRERA shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.
The authority noticed that the objective of the Act of having an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal is not achieved in letter and spirit.
Another aspect the circular issued by the authority states, that there is another factor that retards/slows down the adjudication mechanism in speedy dispute redressal namely that documents on which parties rely upon/ place reliance in a complaint as filed is/are not uploaded/not made available to the adjudicating machinery.
Considering that Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to remain a major public health hazard it is necessary to reiterate the mode of hearing of Complaints.
In view of these aspects MahaRERA has laid down procedure in the matter of grant of adjournments when complaints are listed for hearings before the respective Bench of MahaRERA as well as in the matter of submission of documents on which parties rely upon/ place reliance in the complaints as filed and the mode of hearing of complaints:
(a) No adjournment shall be granted more than two times to a Party.
(b) No adjournment shall be granted at the request of the party except where there is/ are compelling circumstances or where circumstances are beyond the control of the party.
(c) The fact that the legal practitioner is engaged in another court shall not be a ground for adjournment.
(d) Where the illness of a legal practitioner is put forward as a ground for
adjournment, no adjournment shall be granted unless the party applying for adjournment is able to satisfactorily explain that it could not have engaged another legal practitioner in time.
(e) Excuses such as (i) “l have been briefed in the matter recently/ yesterday
in the morning” or (ii) “I am not prepared/ready with the arguments in the
matter” or for such other reasons, shall be no grounds for adjournment.
(f) Where sufficient cause is not shown for grant of adjournment, hearing of the complaints shall be proceeded with.
Submission of Convenience Document set
(a) In addition to the Complainant and Respondent filing / uploading his/her complaint reply/written submission/ written arguments/rejoinders/
synopsis as the case may be and uploading the documents on which reliance is placed in the matter, a hard copy of a “Convenience Document” shall also be submitted. This would be a set consisting of not more than 20 Pages, ie only the relevant pages of the documents required / necessary for deciding the issues raised in the complaints along with the copy of the
complaint / reply / written submission / written arguments/rejoinders / synopsis shall be submitted at the head office of MahaRERA situated at 6th and 7th floor, House Fin Bhavan, Plot No. C-21, E-Block, Bandra- Kurla Complex, Bandra (East), Mumbai- 400051.
(b) The first document, in the “Convenience Document” set, shall be the
Vakalatnama or the Authority Letter indicating that the complainant has
authorized the person named in the said document to plead his/her case.
(c) The above shalt be applicable to all complaints ie old complaints filed as
well as new complaints when filed.
(d) Hard copies of the “Convenience Document” set shall be indexed and
paginated and submitted at the address given in 2(a), at least 1 week before the complaint is listed for hearing.
(e) The “Convenience Document” shall be referred to by the party in person, chartered accountant, company secretary, cost accountant, legal practitioner/ counsel while relying on documents, during arguments.
(f) The last two lines in the column “Description” at “Step 1” and “Step 2” under the column “Steps” at “Annexure A – Standard Operating Procedure for online hearing through video conferencing” in Circular No. 27/2020 dated June 12, 2020 shall be replaced with what is stated in Clause 2(a) above.
Mode of Hearing of Complaints:
(a) Hearing of Complaints shall continue online through video conferencing
(b) Only in cases where the respective bench of MahaRERA is of the opinion that in a given complaint, physical hearing is necessary for the purposes of deciding the said complaint then in that event of hearing of such complaint/s shall be taken up in physical hearing subject to all concerned ie. the parties appearing in person and / or the authorized representative representing the parties in the complaints following the Covid 19 norms as prescribed by Government of India/ State of Maharashtra.