The Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), a non-profit company representing homebuyers, argued before the Bombay High Court that it is constitutionally valid to bring ongoing projects under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. FPCE has been formed by pan-India homebuyers’ pressure group ‘Fight For RERA’ and is representing the buyers in all the cases pertaining to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act in the Bombay HC. The FPCE’s argument were made by senior counsel Shiraz Rustomjee before a bench of justices Naresh Patil and Rajesh Ketkar, who have been conducting daily hearings on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity and implementation of some provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act or RERA. “RERA is not retrospective or retroactive. On the contrary it is fair to say it is prospective,” Rustomjee said. States such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have kept most of the ongoing projects out of the ambit of RERA. Both Haryana and UP have decided to keep outside the purview of RERA projects that have been issued, or applied for, occupancy certificates. This is a significant difference from the central RERA notified on May 1 this year that had completion certificates as the benchmark for exemption. Gujarat has diluted the key provision regarding punishment to the developer for non-compliance.
The FPCE representative also pointed out that 70% of all funds collected in the past, for ongoing projects, need to be deposited, after deducting the funds spent commensurate the work completed. Maharashtra and Gujarat are the only states that have issued rules contravening the Act.