In a relief to homebuyers, the Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and the authority formed under it. Pronouncing its judgment on a bunch of petitions filed by the developers and individual plot owners, a bench comprising Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Rajesh Ketkar said that after “having a careful scrutiny of the relevant provisions we have harmoniously construed the provisions, and hold them to be constitutionally valid and legal”. The court has, however, permitted the RERA Authority to grant extension of time to developers for completion of projects on a case-by-case basis. It also said that the authority should not cancel projects or developers’ registration in cases where the delay was caused due to “exceptional and compelling circumstances.” The court also struck down a provision that called for appointment of bureaucrats as members of an appellate tribunal. In the constitution of a tribunal, majority members must be judges or judicial officers, the court said. “Having constitutionally upheld RERA, the Honourable High Court of Bombay has reinforced the need for regulations to protect homebuyers’ interests in the real estate sector. RERA has now passed through executive, legislature and judicial test. We urge the Centre, states and the regulatory authorities to implement RERA in letter and spirit expeditiously, protecting homebuyers’ interests,” Forum For People’s Collective Efforts president and national convenor of homebuyers’ group Fight For Rera Abhay Upadhayay said. Builders had filed cases in the Bombay, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Bangalore HCs challenging RERA provisions including the provision of ongoing projects.