Apex Court scraps WB real estate act | SR News Update

In a major blow to the recently elected TMC govt, Supreme Court has recently annulled the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017 (WBHIRA) citing it as 'unconstitutional' for being in the direct 'conflict' with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). A report by  SURFACES REPORTER (SR).

In the judgement delivered by a Bench of Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, the apex court commented that the WBHIRA encroached upon the domain of RERA which is enacted by the Parliament as they both deal with the same entry in the Concurrent List and the former contains many provisions that overlaps the latter.

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“From our analysis of RERA and WBHIRA, two fundamental features that emerges are that WBHIRA overlaps with RERA and is copied word to word and it does not complement REREA. Both the statutes refer to the same entry in the Concurrent List," the court said. The court also commented that West Bengal has attempted to establish a a parallel regime which is not Constitutionally permissible.

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However, the sanctions and permissions granted under WBHIRA prior to the judgement will be valid as over 1000 projects have been approved by the authority. "This power has been exercised to safeguard past decisions and prevent chaos." The court also said that once Parliament has enacted a law on a subject, it is not open to the state legislature to enact a similar law and lift it word to word.

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The judgement was provided in a plea NGO Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), which contended that WBHIRA should be struck down since it conflicts with RERA.

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