NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down West Bengal’s law on regulating the real estate sector in the state, saying it is unconstitutional as it encroached upon the Centre’s Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (HIRA), 2017, is more or less identical to the Centre’s RERA, and hence repugnant to the parliament’s law. “The state law has encroached upon the domain of Parliament,” the verdict said.
“From our analysis of RERA and WBHIRA, two fundamental features that emerge are that WBHIRA overlaps with RERA and is copied word to word and it does not complement RERA. Both the statutes refer to the same entry in the concurrent list,” the court said.
“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,” the court said. “The overlap is so significant that a test of repugnance based on the identity of subject matter is established.
West Bengal has attempted to establish a parallel regime which is not Constitutionally permissible,” the court ruled. It, however, said that homebuyers, who have purchased properties under state law, need not worry as the registration of their properties remains valid. The judgement came on a plea of ‘Forum For People’s Collective Efforts’, a homebuyers’ association