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Explore the authorised option

Saturday, March 10, 2018

At times, due to age, illness or other reasons it is not possible for litigant to `visit MahaRERA office to file complaint or attend hearing. This is where he can appoint  authorised representative. Advocate Tanmay Ketkar explains the option

Growing real estate sector necessitated regulating Act to regulate the sector and protect rights and interest of the stakeholders. That’s why MOFA was enacted, it was first specialised Act for real estate sector. However, over a period the MOFA and its provision proved to be insufficient and inefficient to protect rights and interests of customers or end users. Lack of speedy dispute redressal mechanism was the biggest drawback of the MOFA. During MOFA regime conventional dispute redressal mechanism lead to delays and harassment of the customers.

To meet the challenges of new era and to establish speedy dispute redressal mechanism, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) was enacted and implemented. With establishment of RERA authority, it was flooded with enormous number of complaints. Speedy dispute redressal system under RERA is evident from the Number of complaints disposed off or decided till date.

Dispute redressal:
Pros and Cons

Speedy dispute redressal under RERA is beneficial on one hand and geographical or territorial inconvenience to approach RERA is the disadvantageous on the other. Currently, the only working office of MahaRERA is situated at Bandra, Mumbai. The MahaRERA is planning to have the regional offices at Pune and Nagpur. However, it is unfair to compel all litigants from entire state to come to these three cities.

Sometimes due to age, illness or other reasons it is impossible and inconvenient for litigant to attend the MahaRERA office for filing complaint and hearing thereof. What to do if a person is incapable of visiting and attending MahaRERA office? This difficulty has already been though of and provided for. MahaRERA general regulation No. 26 has a specific provision about the authorised representative. Accordingly a complainant or the opponent, may attend the MahaRERA office either himself or through the authorised representative.

Next important question how to appoint authorised representative? MahaRERA general regulation has prescribed Form No. 6 for appointing authorised representative. Any litigant, before filing complaint or during pendency of the complaint can by filing the Form No.6, appoint the authorised representative to act on his behalf.

Authorised representative vs lawyer
There is basic distinction between the authorised representative and an advocate or lawyer. The lawyer is appointed only to represent the case of his client, the lawyer himself cannot take decision and sign or execute documents for the client. However, the authorised representative so appointed take decision and sign and execute on behalf of the person he is appointed by. Once the authorised representative is appointed, the litigant himself need not attend the proceedings.

Authorised representative appointed can complete all the formalities on behalf of the litigant. The decision taken, or documents signed by the authorised representative will automatically be binding on the litigant. Incompetence of or breach of trust by the authorised representative would add to the trouble of litigant. Therefore, utmost precaution shall be taken while appointing the authorised representative. The authorised representative must be trustworthy and competent enough to handle the proceedings.

Can appointment of authorised representative be terminated? Naturally Yes. The RERA Act, rules and regulation have neither provided for nor there is specific prescribed form for cancellation of appointment of representative. However, a person appointing is always capable of terminating the appointment. In absence of specific provision and prescribed form, the litigant will have to separately communicate with MahaRERA for terminating the appointment of authorised representative.

All the litigants who cannot or do not wish to attend the MahaRERA office for their cases can take advantage of this provision and appoint authorised representative to act on their behalf.

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