The Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authorities have come up with a conciliation cell to facilitate the resolutions of disputes between builders and buyers, registered under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA).
This alternate dispute resolution mechanism is supposed to be an improvement over the lengthy process of the mainstream legal system of dispute settlement.
In relation to the recent development, Karnataka RERA has published the “Procedure for KRERA Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Cell” circular on its website. This out-of-court settlements would minimize the cost and time to resolve such disputes.
“This is an out-of-the-court settlement measure. The aim is to provide speedy redressal before referring the dispute to the authority or adjudicating officer. This is intended to avoid both cost and time of litigation to both parties,” Latha Kumari, Secretary of RERA said.
All one has to do is to register the complaint by filing an online application. The party on the receiving end of the complaint must arrange a conciliator within 5 days from registration. After getting consent from the other party, the former party must make a payment of Rs 500.
Each case will be heard by a committee that comprises two conciliators — representing the promoters and the home-buyers. Three representatives of RERA would also be part of the conciliation committee. They would hear the grievances and take measures to facilitate amicable resolution of disputes between home-buyers and builders. The conciliators are chosen from organisations such as CREDAI and National Real Estate Development Council as well as home-buyer associations.
If the parties agree to any settlement, the consent agreement will be drawn, which will be signed by the parties concerned and the conciliators. In case 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 through the RERA dispute redressal mechanism, where a retired judge will hear the case.
The circular has set a 30-day period to settle the dispute.
“About 90% of the disputes could be resolved at the conciliation cell. It also prevents unnecessary legal processes that usually takes much longer time. Karnataka has taken a giant leap that will help both the home-buyers and the builders,”said Suresh Hari, Chairman of CREDAI, Bengaluru.
MS Shankar, secretary of the Forum for People’s Collective Efforts, said that the cell would offer quick settlement of dispute over the legal processes that take at least 6 months to one year.
“From the date of filing a complaint at RERA, it takes a minimum of three months for the first hearing. With the sudden spike in the number of complaints and several adjournments in each case, it’s impossible for one judge to hear all the cases. In such a scenario, the Cell will be able to solve cases that are simple or petty in nature,” he said.
Bottom line: It is a cost effective alternate legal procedure which is expected to provide solutions to such disputes in no time.
Karnataka RERA Sets Up a Conciliation Cell to Resolve Disputes