The constitutional precept of “repugnancy”, which primarily offers with the problem as to whether or not a parliamentary law or a state law would prevail if each are competent to legislate on topics as they fall below the concurrent listing of Constitution, was utilized by the apex court docket for testing the validity of the 2017 law made by the Mamta Banerjee-led authorities to substitute RERA in West Bengal.
A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah held the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (WB-HIRA), 2017 was repugnant to the RERA, made a yr in the past by Parliament, and therefore was unconstitutional.
“The overlap between the provisions of WB-HIRA and the RERA is so significant as to leave no manner of doubt that the test of repugnancy based on an identity of subject matter is clearly established,” the 190-page verdict written by Justice Chandrachud stated.
Article 254 of the Constitution offers with the problem of inconsistencies between legal guidelines made by Parliament and by the legislatures of the states and gives for the character, circumstances and extent of repugnancy of the legal guidelines made by states.
Elaborating on the constitutional scheme, the highest court docket stated one of many salient options of Article 254 is its sub-Article (1) embodies the idea of repugnancy on topics inside the Concurrent List on which each the State legislatures and Parliament are entrusted with the facility to enact legal guidelines.
“Secondly, a law made by the legislature of a State which is repugnant to Parliamentary legislation on a matter enumerated in the Concurrent List has to yield to a Parliamentary law whether enacted before or after the law made by the State legislature,” the bench stated. Â
Thirdly, within the occasion of a repugnancy, Parliamentary laws shall prevail and the state law shall “to the extent of the repugnancy” be void, it held.
“Fourthly, the consequence of a repugnancy between the State legislation with a law enacted by Parliament within the ambit of List III can be cured if the State legislation receives the assent of the President,” it stated, including “Fifthly, the grant of Presidential assent â€¦ will not preclude Parliament from enacting a law on the subject matter.”
The bench stated there was three sorts of repugnancy and “the first envisages a situation of an absolute or irreconcilable conflict or inconsistency between a provision contained in a State legislative enactment with a Parliamentary law with reference to a matter in the Concurrent List.”
Such a battle brings each the statutes right into a state of direct collision and a battle arises as a result of it’s unattainable to adjust to one of many two statutes with out disobeying the opposite, it stated.
“The second state of affairs involving a battle between State and Central legislations could come up in a state of affairs the place Parliament has evinced an intent to occupy the entire area. The notion of occupying a area emerges when a Parliamentary laws is so full and exhaustive as a Code as to preclude the existence of some other laws by the State.
“The State law in this context has to give way to a Parliamentary enactment not because of an actual conflict with the absolute terms of a Parliamentary law but because the nature of the legislation enacted by Parliament is such as to constitute a complete and exhaustive Code on the subject,” the judgement stated.
The third take a look at of repugnancy is the place the law enacted by Parliament and by the state legislature regulate the identical topic and in such a case the repugnancy doesn’t come up due to a battle between the fields coated by the 2 enactments however as a result of the topic which is sought to be coated by the state laws is similar to and overlaps with the Central laws on the topic, it stated.
The high court docket analysed and in contrast the West Bengal law with the Centre’s law and struck the state statute holding that the “identity of subject matter is clearly established”.
The judgement got here on a plea of ‘Forum For People’s Collective Efforts’ , an umbrella homebuyers affiliation, difficult the constitutional validity of West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017, which is kind of similar to the Centre’s RERA.