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Mumbai Mirror  |  March 13, 2018

Satish Nandgaonkar

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) succeeded in resolving six of the 16 disputes heard by the conciliation forum in its first ever hearings held on Saturday. Four of the cases were settled in Mumbai, and two in Pune, officials said.


This is the first time complaints by home buyers over delayed possession have been settled in a span of 45 minutes &ndash by benches chaired by representatives from developers&rsquo bodies and consumer rights organisations, through an out-of-court conciliation process.


Niranjan Hiranandani, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) president and CEO of Hiranandani Communities, was part of the first two benches along with his NAREDCO colleague and vice president Rajan Bandelkar.


"It is a win-win situation for the home buyers and the developers. In a span of three hours, we managed to settle four out of the five cases," Hiranandani said.


Hiranandani had offered his Powai office to conduct the hearing for complaints from the eastern suburbs, while Mumbai Grahak Panchayat had set up two benches in their Vile Parle office for complaints from the western suburbs. Hiranandani and Bandelkar, along with Smita Jamdar and Dr Archana Sabnis from MGP, managed to bring about conciliation in four cases.


The complaints were filed by home buyers Vishwanathan N, David Allappat, Aftab Khan, and Samikant Chindarkar. The developers who participated included Pankaj Chawla, Acme Housing India Pvt Ltd, L&T Realty, and Panchtatva Realty. Two cases heard by benches with representatives from Credai Pune, and MGP, Pune, were also resolved.


Speaking to Mirror, Bandelkar said "The conciliation process renewed the lack of trust between the developer and the home buyer with a face-to face dialogue. The process does not involve a decision it is a win-win or a lose-lose for both parties."


Hiranandani said &ldquoI am not saying this is panacea for every kind of dispute, but I think 90 per cent of the cases that are before MahaRERA could be resolved if the intention is right. Issues where there is an impossibility of a payment, where the project itself is in a difficulty could be an exception to this. Unless the project itself is lifted out of difficulties, it cannot be resolved in a conciliation platform. We hope to resolve 40 to 50 per cent of the cases this way."


" one case, a home buyer wanted early possession for his son's education and wanted to move from Ulhasnagar to Thane. The developer not only agreed to give possession by May 31, but said he would arrange for alternative accommodation if it is not ready," Sabnis said.


"In a legal hearing before MahaRERA, even if there is a favourable order, the other party can go in appeal, and further appeal to the high court, and it becomes a never-ending process. Here, because they consented and signed consent terms, it is not appealable. In both cases which were resolved, the home buyers went home very happy, and seeing their happy faces gave us a sense of satisfaction."