New Bahrain panel to decide on rent row
Manama, May 23, 2014
A new commission will soon be established to resolve rent disputes between tenants and property owners in Bahrain, a report said.
The Shura Council yesterday approved the formation of the commission, which will comprise two judges and a senior government official, despite opposition from some members that it already falls under the judiciary authorities' jurisdiction, said the Gulf Daily News report.
The commission's decisions will be final, constituting first and second verdicts, and the only way to contest them will be through the Cassation Court, it said.
Its formation comes as part of a new 64-article rent law, completed in an extraordinary session yesterday, which will now be referred to parliament.
Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh said that the Supreme Judicial Council was asked a month ago whether the commission contravened its authority, but no response had been forthcoming.
However, as he asked councillors to vote on the formation of the commission, an official letter from Supreme Judicial Council chairman Salim Al Kuwari dated May 22 was presented to him.
"The letter says the council believes forming committees to resolve disputes would help in fast-tracking pending cases - which we hope will be done by 2016 - and we don't interfere in the legislative point of view and there are plans to form specialised courts to deal with such specific cases in future," said Al Saleh.
"It is clear that the Supreme Judicial Council has given us the choice on whether we find the commission important or not.
"And in all cases it will be overseen by two judges, after we amended the formation line-up from two senior government officials and one judge to two judges and one senior government official," he added
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa said that the government had plans for two government officials, but had no problem with the new formation.
"Let us make a point clear, the commission wouldn't deprive people of their right to file cases in courts - it is there to resolve disputes that are associated with contracts between tenants and property owners," he said. - Reuters