CREDAI makes a conscious effort to protect the interst of buyers. CREDAI has established a CONSUMER GRIEVANCE REDERESSAL FORUM in October 2012, where an aggrieved buyer can register a complaint against CREDAI member developer.
By translating investor interest protection into a mechanism, the apex body of real estate developers resolves consumer complaints expeditiously and prompts bestselling practice amongst the developer fraternity.
This is the first of its kind initiative, that aligns the interest of consumers with the member builders. The self-regulation of the industry in terms of standards of delivery vis-à-vis commitment will build trust among present/ prospective buyers, the government and the media. All chapters at city and state level have accepted the self-regulation norm and have been settling consumer greivances through their Redressal Forums, though the exact details may vary slightly from chapter to chapter.
A CASE STUDY OF CONSUMER GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL FORUM IN NCR IS PRESENTED BELOW:
In order to protect the interest of buyers, CREDAI NCR established a ‘Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum’ in 2012 where an aggrieved buyer could register a complaint against CREDAI NCR member developer. The Forum covered 200 members across NCR region.
Following its establishment in the year 2012, a big advertisement campaign was launched on which CREDAI NCR spent around Rs.55 Lacs. The campaign was meant to inform the general public about Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum and lodging of complaints online.
The mechanism consists of the respective developer downloading the complaint lodged by the buyer from the website and informing the number of days that will be needed for resolution of the complaint. The time period to resolve complaints ranges from 7 to 45 days depending on the nature of the complaint. To reduce the incidence of complaints, the developers are encouraged to adopt standard procedures, protect buyer’s interest and embrace transparent practices.
In order to keep the resolution process free from internal influences, a provision has been made for experienced Legal and Technical experts of developers to facilitate such resolutions. The panel, at present, consists of Retd. High Court Justice S.K. Dubey or Retd. High Court Justice G.C. Bharuka and one Governing Council Member - CREDAI NCR together with Secretariat - support the conduct of proceedings at Arbitration Halls, Supreme Court of India Complex.
So far, Consumer Redressal Forum has registered approximately 1265 complaints and effectively resolved 1119 cases (as in June 2014). Out of the remaining 146 cases 115 are in the process of being resolved. The above figure shows that CREDAI NCR has already resolved around 90% cases in an amicable way through peer pressure and informal arbitration and the percentage is increasing day by day. The success rate shows that general customer is gaining confidence in Consumer Grievance Forum of CREDAI NCR.
CONSUMER GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL FORUM UNDER CREDAI
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
- To protect consumer in case of genuine grievance against developers.
- To promote litigation -free healthy business environment in real estate sector.
- To create healthy relationship between developers and their consumers.
- To self-regulate as far as possible.
- To eradicate unscrupulous practices from real estate business and improve its veracity, stature and public image.
- It is to be noted that CGRF shall function neither as quasi-judicial nor as an arbitrator but only as a mediator.
- The Secretariat of Association shall admit the grievance in writing from consumer against any member of the association only, along with a processing fee not exceeding Rs. 2000/-. The Secretariat shall explain the procedure of CGRF to the complainant at the time of admitting the grievance. The fee to be paid by the consumer shall be borne by the concerned developer in case the grievance is found to be genuine by CGRF.
- The CGRF shall seek comments from the member against whom the grievance has been admitted.
- The concerned member shall be required to respond to CGRF in respect of the grievance within seven bank working days.
- Extension of seven further bank working days may be granted by CGRF on plea from concerned member.
- However, if no response to the grievance is received from the member within the period of the original time limit and extension, the CGRF shall pass an ex parte decision in the matter.
- On receipt of the comments from member, CGRF shall send the same to the complainant.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the reply of the member, the CGRF shall hear both sides initially separately and independent of the other and, if necessary, later, together at a joint meeting of both parties.
- The joint meeting may not be required if the consumer accepts what CGRF conveys to him/her/it after having spoken to the parties separately as stated in point no.8 above and, having conveyed the concerns and solutions, and, if both the parties continue coordinating and sorting the issue of grievance. If this does not happen, CGRF shall try to mediate putting certain modalities acceptable to both the sides and shall prescribe certain time frame for closure of the case as may be suitable to both sides.
- If deemed necessary, the CGRF shall carry out inspection at site.
- CGRF shall make its oral observations and shall try to get them accepted by both parties. It shall record minutes of settlement and in absence of settlement, shall issue observations after hearing both sides and shall close the matter.
- The grievance once resolved shall not be entertained on complaint from same parties again.
- If no communication from complainant is received within a period of three months from the date of admitting the respective grievance in respect of issues which have been once resolved, CGRF shall not take up the issues again.
- In case the decision of CGRF goes against the member, it will be obligatory on his part to comply with the directives of the CGRF.
- In case of non- compliance of the member, the Association shall expel him from membership.
- The Association will make public informed of such expulsion through newspapers.
- However, the expulsion will precede a route beginning with a notice, then reprimand followed by suspension, if necessitated.
- In case a matter is sub judice and both parties agree to settle it through the mechanism of CGRF, the complaint may be entertained by CGRF.
GUIDELINES FOR ASSOCIATION IN RESPECT OF CGRF
- The forum may follow summary procedures but it must give both sides a reasonable chance to both the sides to present their case and it must record its findings in writing as a speaking order. The observations are to be given after hearing both sides. However, it is a conciliation proceeding through mediation and it is not an arbitration proceeding.
- The members of CGRF shall be selected by President & all Past Presidents.
- CGRF may consist of three members only. Any one Past President may be the Chairman of CGRF, One member may be from among office-bearers/EC and the third member may be from Legal/Architect/C.A. fraternity.
- The Chairman of CGRF will call its meeting once in a month to review the status of its working.
- The Secretarial shall maintain a register of complaints duly diarised and serially numbered.
- All members must register an Email and mobile phone no. with City/State/National Secretariat to which the correspondence in respect of CGRF matters will be addressed.
- CGRF/ the concerned Secretariat shall submit report to the managing committee about the status of the grievances admitted/resolved/pending every month.
- If the concerned member desires to go in appeal against the CGRF decision, the appeal must be made to the State CREDAI within 30 days following the CGRF decision.
- Developers against whom complaint is filed with CGRF should not be reactive at time of hearing and should practice patience.
- Each association is required to pass a resolution about establishing CGRF thereof and amend its constitution in the light of the same suitably.