Delays and vacancies at MahaRERA hamper justice for home buyers
Real Estate

Delays and vacancies at MahaRERA hamper justice for home buyers

Jayshree Sukhadia, a resident of Chira Bazaar, approached MahaRERA in October 2020 after facing issues with a project promoter in Neral. She alleged that the promoter demanded extra money and failed to refund her Rs 1.3 million, which she had paid as a down payment for a flat booked in 2017. The first hearing on Sukhadia's complaint took place in October 2021, a year after filing, and was referred to the conciliation forum. However, the attempt at conciliation failed in March 2022, and no further hearing date has been provided.

Sukhadia's case is not unique, as many other home buyers have been struggling to receive prompt justice. Out of the 21,274 cases filed with MahaRERA so far, 6,989 cases are either being heard or pending. While the regulatory body was established to address the concerns of harassed home buyers dealing with dishonest promoters, the delays in handling complaints have adversely affected the buyers. Consequently, some home buyers prefer filing complaints with the consumer court instead of MahaRERA.

The MahaRERA authorities attribute the delay in conducting hearings and resolving complaints to the vacant positions within the regulatory authority. Currently, only two members, including the chairman, are available to hear complaints, leading to a backlog. Despite protests and representations, the state government has not replaced the members whose terms have expired.

Anil Dsouza, secretary of the MahaRERA Bar Association, highlighted the significant difference in hearing dates between MahaRERA and other courts, with MahaRERA taking over a year to schedule the next hearing. Many matters are adjourned indefinitely without providing a future date. Dsouza questions the feasibility of operating with a reduced number of benches while the number of complaints continues to rise.

Around 300 new complaints are filed with MahaRERA each month, but the two existing benches are only able to dispose of a similar number of complaints. For the past two years, MahaRERA has had only two members in addition to the adjudicating members. Although the government attempted to appoint additional members, these appointments did not materialise for various reasons. The addition of just one member could alleviate the problem and address the backlog of complaints, according to a MahaRERA official.

Valsa Nair Singh, additional chief secretary of the housing department, did not respond to inquiries seeking comment.

Advocate Godfrey Pimenta from the Watchdog Foundation emphasised that Section 21 of the Real Estate (Regulatory and Development) Act, 2016, stipulates the appointment of a chairperson and at least two full-time members by the government. However, MahaRERA currently only has a chairperson and one member. The Adjudication Officer appointed under Section 71 of RERA cannot be considered for the required composition of members stated in Section 21 of RERA.

Also Read
DLF plans to launch projects worth Rs 200 bn in current fiscal
MahaRERA yet to address nearly 7,000 pending homebuyer cases


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Jayshree Sukhadia, a resident of Chira Bazaar, approached MahaRERA in October 2020 after facing issues with a project promoter in Neral. She alleged that the promoter demanded extra money and failed to refund her Rs 1.3 million, which she had paid as a down payment for a flat booked in 2017. The first hearing on Sukhadia's complaint took place in October 2021, a year after filing, and was referred to the conciliation forum. However, the attempt at conciliation failed in March 2022, and no further hearing date has been provided. Sukhadia's case is not unique, as many other home buyers have been struggling to receive prompt justice. Out of the 21,274 cases filed with MahaRERA so far, 6,989 cases are either being heard or pending. While the regulatory body was established to address the concerns of harassed home buyers dealing with dishonest promoters, the delays in handling complaints have adversely affected the buyers. Consequently, some home buyers prefer filing complaints with the consumer court instead of MahaRERA. The MahaRERA authorities attribute the delay in conducting hearings and resolving complaints to the vacant positions within the regulatory authority. Currently, only two members, including the chairman, are available to hear complaints, leading to a backlog. Despite protests and representations, the state government has not replaced the members whose terms have expired. Anil Dsouza, secretary of the MahaRERA Bar Association, highlighted the significant difference in hearing dates between MahaRERA and other courts, with MahaRERA taking over a year to schedule the next hearing. Many matters are adjourned indefinitely without providing a future date. Dsouza questions the feasibility of operating with a reduced number of benches while the number of complaints continues to rise. Around 300 new complaints are filed with MahaRERA each month, but the two existing benches are only able to dispose of a similar number of complaints. For the past two years, MahaRERA has had only two members in addition to the adjudicating members. Although the government attempted to appoint additional members, these appointments did not materialise for various reasons. The addition of just one member could alleviate the problem and address the backlog of complaints, according to a MahaRERA official. Valsa Nair Singh, additional chief secretary of the housing department, did not respond to inquiries seeking comment. Advocate Godfrey Pimenta from the Watchdog Foundation emphasised that Section 21 of the Real Estate (Regulatory and Development) Act, 2016, stipulates the appointment of a chairperson and at least two full-time members by the government. However, MahaRERA currently only has a chairperson and one member. The Adjudication Officer appointed under Section 71 of RERA cannot be considered for the required composition of members stated in Section 21 of RERA. Also Read DLF plans to launch projects worth Rs 200 bn in current fiscalMahaRERA yet to address nearly 7,000 pending homebuyer cases

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