Homebuyers’ Body Hails SC Order Against Bengal Leash on Realty

Apex court has struck down a law passed by the state government to regulate the real estate sector

Homebuyers’ body FPCE on Tuesday said the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a law passed by West Bengal government to regulate realty sector will help in protecting consumers’ interest and preventing any dilution in RERA to favour builders.

On Tuesday, the apex court struck down West Bengal’s law on regulating real estate sector saying it was “unconstitutional” as the state’s statute encroached upon the Centre’s Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA).

The judgement came on a plea by Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), an umbrella homebuyers’ association, challenging the constitutional validity of West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (WBHIRA), 2017, which is more or less identical to RERA.

When contacted, FPCE President Abhay Upadhyay said WBHIRA made us very nervous as the whole objective of having one law pan India was getting defeated.

WBHIRA also watered down certain provisions of RERA in favour of builders, he said.

“If this was allowed to go through, then we had fear that other states may follow suit,” Upadhyay told PTI.

With this historic Judgement, he said that not only RERA and interest of homebuyers have been protected but also a message has gone to all that any attempt to dilute RERA through back door will be illegal.

FPCE has played a key role in passage and implementation of RERA across various states.

According to the Supreme Court, WBHIRA has failed to include valuable safeguards for the homebuyers.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017 is more or less identical to the Centre’s RERA and hence repugnant to Parliament’s law.

“The state law has encroached upon the domain of the Parliament and hence is unconstitutional,” the verdict said.

The court said that homebuyers who have purchased properties under the state law before its verdict will not have to worry as their registration and other acts would remain valid.

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