West Bengal’s HIRA challenged in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a petition filed by a group of home-buyers, which challenged the constitutional validity of West Bengal Housing & Industrial Regulation Act 2017 (HIRA). SC asked the state to file its reply within a fortnight.
West Bengal is the only state that has not implemented the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA), passed by Parliament. The state formulated its own law, which is largely identical with the central legislation. While RERA came into effect May 1, 2017, Bengal implemented its own law from June 1, 2018.
In its petition, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), an umbrella association of homebuyers, said, “The constitutional scheme requires that the state Act should give way to the central legislation and the central statute alone should prevail in West Bengal.” The petitioner has submitted that the Bengal government had not even obtained the President’s assent.
It has also produced a letter from the Union housing secretary to the state chief secretary to repeal the state law. FPCE has also submitted an RTI reply, which says the governor was not properly informed or advised by state government. It said the Governor had the powers to reserve the impugned state law for the assent of the President, as there was already a central law.