Top court directs states, UTs to respond on RERA rules by May 15
The Centre informed the Court that the exercise had started in early March when a communication was addressed to all states and union territories to provide a copy of the state-specific Agreement of Sale rules notified under RERA and a chart comparing the State Rules with the Central RERA Rules.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the states and union territories to cooperate with the Centre in preparing a report on the state-wise compliance of rules framed under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA) for evolving common standards of safeguards and protection to homebuyers against builders across the country.
The Centre informed the Court that the exercise had started in early March when a communication was addressed to all states and union territories to provide a copy of the state-specific Agreement of Sale rules notified under RERA and a chart comparing the State Rules with the Central RERA Rules. Despite a reminder sent as late as on April 12, only five states had responded which required the Court to issue directions.
A bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said, “To facilitate the exercise carried out by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, we direct all chief secretaries of States/UTs to positively respond to the communication of March 2 and email dated April 12 by providing relevant information to the Government of India on or before May 15.”
The Court had appointed advocate Devashish Bharuka as amicus curiae in the matter who prepared a summary of the responses received so far. The Court asked Additional solicitor general (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati to provide necessary details to Bharuka in preparing a comprehensive report on RERA rules notified by states that could be then uploaded on the Ministry’s website for inviting public comments.
The order came while hearing a set of petitions filed by public-spirited persons and individual homebuyers demanding a model builder-buyer agreement (BBA) and agent-buyer agreement (ABA).
The Centre while responding to these petitions maintained that besides RERA, the Centre had notified RERA General Rules and RERA Agreement for Sale Rules in 2016 keeping in mind the interest of those union territories having no legislature. The same year, the Centre wrote to states and union territories to notify state-specific rules under the 2016 Act. But as on January 31 this year, all states had not notified these Rules.
ASG Bhati has earlier indicated to the Court that for some states having large volume of real estate projects, such as Maharashtra and Haryana, some state-specific additions may be required, such as slum development/re-development, which is found in Maharashtra rules.
The petitions sought directions against all states to enforce model BBA and model ABA to ensure homebuyers are not left at the mercy of builders and real estate developers while signing the agreement at the time of purchase of flats.