Bombay hc upholds Reravalidity
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.