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COVID-19 impact | Most RERA authorities hear cases online; conform to social distancing norms

Hearings have been taking place in two benches of UP Rera at Gautam Buddh Nagar and Lucknow.

UP RERA has been holding virtual hearings since May 18.
UP RERA has been holding virtual hearings since May 18.

On account of the coronavirus pandemic, most RERA authorities across the country are holding online hearings through video conferencing but in Karnataka physical court hearings have resumed from June 8.

MahaRERA that had initially decided to hear only urgent cases online, has now decided to hold all hearings online.

“Whereas Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to remain a major public health hazard across the world and in accordance with various advisories, it is important to undertake safety and precautionary measures to contain its spread, including social distancing, avoiding physical public gathering/meetings and leveraging technology to minimise physical human interface.

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Accordingly, MahaRERA has, through the various orders leveraged its digital platform to ensure non-stop online delivery of all its services, the circular said.

These services include project registration, agent registrations, project extensions/corrections, filing of complaints, it said.

With this initiative, all MahaRERA services and operations can be delivered digitally, without any need for physical visit by allottees / promoters / agents / advocates to MahaRERA offices. MahaRERA will thus be 100 percent digital with zero paper and zero footfalls, it said.

Accordingly, MahaRERA expects no outside visitors to its office premises, without prior appointment. Online/e-meetings shall be encouraged for every interaction, including meetings for doubt clarifications.

E-meetings can be scheduled with respective officials by dropping an email to them. This order shall come into effect immediately and will be further reviewed, based on the status of Covid-19 pandemic, the circular said.

MahaRERA has also been working to further enhance its complaint management IT application so that the entire complaint procedure including filing of complaints, reply by respondents, counter replies by both complainants and respondents, hearings, judgments can be done online, from home, without any need to visit MahaRERA Office, the circular said.

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UP RERA has been holding virtual hearings since May 18. “By virtual hearing of cases, the authority is ensuring normal functioning of the hearing and disposal of the complaints notwithstanding the dislocation caused by the covid-19 pandemic. It is expected that virtual hearings will prove to be a very strong instrument of imparting justice to the aggrieved parties in a transparent, efficient and time-bound manner,” a UP RERA circular had said.

Hearings have been taking place in two benches of UP Rera at Gautam Buddh Nagar and Lucknow.

Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority has also been conducting hearings of complaints through video conferencing since June 3.

“No physical hearing of complaints is possible for the time being’ on account of COVID-19, its circular had said.

In April, Karnataka RERA had issued a circular that said that all complaint cases listed for hearing upto April 14 before the authority have been adjourned and the next dates of hearing will be posted shortly. “Cases of urgent nature shall be considered for hearing either in person or through Skype to avoid gathering of litigants, lawyers and visitors.”

Physical hearings in Karnataka RERA have resumed since June 9. “Due to COVID-19 situation, social distancing restriction, either the party in person or an advocate are allowed in the premises of KRERA and the court hall. Advocate and his client are not allowed together,” a hearing notice sent to a homebuyer said.

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First Published on Jun 17, 2020 07:59 pm
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