Bom­bay hc up­holds Rer­ava­lid­ity

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The Bom­bay High Court has up­held the va­lid­ity of the Real Es­tate (Reg­u­la­tion and Devel­op­ment) Act (RERA). A bench of Jus­tices Naresh Patil and Ra­jesh Ketkar pro­nounced its judge­ment on a bunch of pe­ti­tions filed by realestate de­vel­op­ers and in­di­vid­ual plot own­ers, all chal­leng­ing the con­sti­tu­tional va­lid­ity of the Act that was brought into ef­fect ear­lier this year. The pe­ti­tions claimed that the Act, and the con­sti­tu­tion of a state-level author­ity for its im­ple­men­ta­tion, was ar­bi­trary, and there­fore un­con­sti­tu­tional. The bench, headed by Jus­tice Patil, how­ever, al­lowed a sig­nif­i­cant lee­way for de­vel­op­ers in the judge­ment by per­mit­ting the statelevel RERA author­ity and the Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal to con­sider de­lays on a case-to-case ba­sis, and not to can­cel projects or de­vel­op­ers’ reg­is­tra­tion in cases where the de­lay was caused due to “ex­cep­tional and com­pelling cir­cum­stances.” Most of the de­vel­op­ers had chal­lenged a pro­vi­sion of ‘force ma­jeure or a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter’, where any ex­ten­sion be­yond a year for com­ple­tion of project would have led to penal­ties. The Cen­tre and the state had ve­he­mently de­fended the Act, and jus­ti­fied the strict pro­vi­sions by ar­gu­ing that the same were meant to pro­tect buy­ers, and to rein in rogue de­vel­op­ers.

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