Maharashtra Rera rules next week, may seek to end discriminaton on religious, gender grounds

The Maharashtra government is set to notify the rules under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act in a week.

According to media reports, the government has made some changes to make the rules more consumer friendly after some of the provisions earlier attracted widespread criticism for being builder-friendly. It is to be remembered that the Bill is touted to be a major leap forward in protecting consumers' interests in a sector riddled with court cases.

According to the reports in The Indian Express and The Times of India on Tuesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved the rules on Tuesday.

The Times of India reported that the pro-builder rules that were included earlier have been removed and new rules are more consumer friendly.



Meanwhile, the IE report said the government has inserted an anti-discriminatory clause in the rules that will help consumers to deal with the rampant discrimination on the basis of caste, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation and dietary choices.

The rules are likely to stipulate that the builders should disclose all the approvals they have obtained on the regulator's website. In order to help the common man easily check the title documents, the rules will make it mandatory for the builder to disclose the marketablility of the title of the land. This, according to the IE report, is a step ahead of the Central government's draft rules, which form the basis for the state rules.

As per the earlier draft rules, the builders could terminate an agreement with a buyer with just a week's notice. This was widely criticised and termed a pro-builder policy. The government has changed this rule. According to a report in The Times of India, the builder can send a termination notice only if the buyer defaults payments three times.

While all these rules are indeed customer-oriented, the most progressive is the anti-discriminatory clause that has been included. If the report is indeed true, this clause is likely to be a pathbreaking one as there are many instances in Mumbai city alone where customers are denied residences for being a Muslim, Christian, transgender or simply a non-vegetarian.

Many activists have even raised concerns that such practices have resulted in ghettoisation of a city which has always taken pride in being truly cosmopolitan.

However, it remains to be seen whether the rules will help change the mindset of the general public and open up their housing societies to all and sundry, regardless of their caste, creed or gender.

Updated Date: Mar 22, 2017 15:38 PM

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