NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday striking down the WB-HIRA, the West Bengal’s own real estate regulation law, and terming it as “unconstitutional” have come as a big win for the pan-Indian home buyers body that had fought for one law for the country, RERA. While Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) was enacted by the Centre in 2016, the West Bengal government had notified its own law, WB-HIRA.
The Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), which was earlier known as Fight for RERA, had challenged the West Bengal legislation in the Supreme Court claiming how the state law was contrary to the constitutional provisions and did not have adequate provisions to protect the home buyers.
“This was second big legal battle we won for RERA. First we challenged the real estate lobby’s efforts to establish the Central law as unconstitutional in the Bombay High Court. The HC ruled in favour of the RERA and on Tuesday we won the case against the West Bengal government. With this judgment, all efforts by builders to water down RERA through back door or to render it redundant will be put to rest,” said Abhay Upadhyay, president of FPCE.
West Bengal was the only state that had not adopted and implemented the Central law, RERA. The Tuesday’s order also comes as a big win for the Centre, which had written several times to the West Bengal government to notify and implement the RERA in the state. It had also urged the President not to give consent to the state law.
Upadhyay said the enactment of WB-HIRA had made them nervous as the whole objective of having one law pan India was getting defeated. “Beside, WB-HIRA watered down certain provisions of RERA in favour of builders. If this was allowed to go through, then we had fear that other states may follow suit. This not only would mean that there may be many state laws in future but also that each state will dilute more provisions of RERA to favour builders. So, we filed this PIL before SC challenging WB-HIRA,” he said.