Following the Supreme Court's judgement, the West Bengal government has taken the initial steps toward implementing RERA in the state by publishing regulations regulating the state's real estate regulatory body. RERA Rules have been announced by the West Bengal government under section 84. This is the first stage towards putting the legislation into effect.
“The Governor is delighted to make the following regulations in exercise of the authority given by section 84 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (16 of 2016). The West Bengal Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2021 may be referred to as such. They will take effect on the date they are published in the Official Gazette,” the state administration announced.
The only state in the country that has not ratified RERA was West Bengal. The Central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) took effect on May 1, 2017, one year after it was enacted by Parliament. West Bengal passed its own law, the West Bengal Housing and Industrial Regulation Act 2017, in 2017 (WBHIRA).
“Until 2016, RERA gave a sense of control to an industry that had been unregulated. It was hotly fought from both the inside and the outside. In 2017, the Hon'ble Bombay High Court cleared the matter. RERA guidelines have been announced in West Bengal, thanks to the Supreme Court. We now have one nation, one RERA," Hardeep Singh Puri, the minister of housing and urban affairs, tweeted.
“West Bengal complying with the Supreme Court ruling and implementing RERA has brought a breath of relief to homebuyers in West Bengal. The final roadblock to One Nation, One RERA has been lifted. The first step in this direction is the publication of Real Estate Rules under Section 84 of the RERA. We expect that the authorities, Appellate Tribunal, and web page that RERA envisions will be established soon,” said Abhay Upadhyay, head of the Forum for People's Collective Efforts, a homebuyers' group (FPCE).
“Every effort should be made to begin accepting complaints and hearings under RERA as soon as possible so that homebuyers in the area can receive prompt justice,” he added.
After the Supreme Court threw down West Bengal's Housing Industry Regulation Act (WBHIRA) 2017, the law governing the state's real estate industry, stating it was "unconstitutional," the homebuyers' group drew the government's attention to the nearly two-month delay in implementing RERA in the state. Homebuyers claim that this is causing them great difficulty and delaying justice for those who are considering bringing new claims.
Abhay Upadhyay, president of the FPCE, wrote to Durga Shankar Mishra, secretary, ministry of housing and urban affairs, saying that after the Supreme Court order, "it was imperative upon the state of West Bengal to take immediate necessary steps to implement the decision of the Supreme Court and constitute the Regulatory Authority, Appellate Tribunal, and Adjudicating Officer, as well as to create implementing rules and provide a portal for comprehensive project/agent information under the Act, in the spirit and law of RERA.”
Mishra was encouraged to raise the matter with the state administration so that the “process of RERA implementation in the state of West Bengal be speedily implemented,” according to the letter.
The Supreme Court ruled in May that WBHIRA creates a parallel regime that is in direct contradiction with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act of the Centre (RERA). The state law has encroached on Parliament's authority and is thus unlawful, according to the ruling. The West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (HIRA) of 2017 is nearly comparable to the Centre's RERA, according to the bench, and so violates Parliament's statute.
A total of 67,313 projects have been registered in the country to date, with Maharashtra accounting for 46% of them. Gujarat is second with 8,685 projects registered, while Karnataka is third with 4,151 projects registered.
Source: Money Control