New Delhi: Home buyers’ body FPCE has filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the West Bengal government for the time-bound and proper implementation of the real estate regulatory law RERA in the state.
The Supreme Court, in May last year, had struck down West Bengal government’s law — WBHIRA — for regulating real estate sector saying it was “unconstitutional”.
The apex court’s ruling came while it was hearing a plea filed by the Forum For People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE).
Now, nearly eight months later, the FPCE has filed a miscellaneous application in the Supreme Court over non-implementation of RERA (Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act), 2016) in West Bengal.
The FPCE has urged the apex court to pass an order directing the West Bengal government to take all appropriate steps and actions for implementation of RERA in a time-bound manner.
The state government should file a compliance report before the Supreme Court within a period of three months regarding implementation of RERA, according to the miscellaneous application.
Further, the FPCE has urged the apex court to direct the state government to immediately appoint the chairperson and members of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority as also the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal within four weeks to ensure registration of projects and filing of complaints, if any, under RERA.
When contacted, FPCE President Abhay Upadhyay on Monday said the West Bengal government has established the authority and the tribunal but chairpersons and members have not been appointed.
Upadhyay, who is also a member of the Central Advisory Council, RERA, said, “it has been eight months since the Supreme Court struck down WBHIRA but RERA is yet to be implemented in West Bengal.”
WB-HIRA refers to West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Act.
This has left the home buyers in the lurch as neither new complaints can be filed against builders nor existing complaints already filed before erstwhile WBHIRA can be continued, Upadhyay pointed out.
“This has led to a situation where home buyers are being subjected to even more ruthless exploitation by builders since there is now no mechanism in the state for redressal of home buyer’s grievances,” he said.
In the context of redressal of complaints, WBHIRA refers to West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Authority.
He said the non-implementation of RERA is proving to be a blessing in disguise for the builders.
“Builders are freely violating the provisions of RERA with impunity and are launching projects without registration and proper disclosures,” he said.
In its submission before the court, FPCE has also said it was constrained to move the present application as the real estate sector in West Bengal has, for all practical purposes, become unregulated.
The purpose with which the Parliament had enacted RERA is itself being defeated by the government of West Bengal by not performing its statutory duties under RERA, it added.