Karnataka High Court: In an important development, the Bench of Krishna S. Dixit, J.*, deliberated over the challenge to the constitutional validity of Section 22 of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. Taking note of challenges raised by the counsel of the petitioner, the Single Judge Bench was of the view that the matter requires detailed and serious consideration, owing to which the Court directed the Additional Advocate General (AGA) to accept notice on behalf of State of Karnataka and emergent notice was issued upon the Karnataka RERA.
What is Section 22 of RERA Act?
Qualifications of Chairperson and Members of Authority: The Chairperson and other Members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Appropriate Government on the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of the Chief Justice of the High Court or his nominee, the Secretary of the Department dealing with Housing and the Law Secretary, in such manner as may be prescribed, from amongst persons having adequate knowledge of and professional experience of at least twenty years in case of the Chairperson and fifteen years in the case of the Members in urban development, housing, real estate development, infrastructure, economics, technical experts from relevant fields, planning, law, commerce, accountancy, industry, management, social service, public affairs or administration:
Provided that a person who is, or has been, in the service of the State Government shall not be appointed as a Chairperson unless such person has held the post of Additional Secretary to the Central Government or any equivalent post in the Central Government or State Government:
Provided further that a person who is, or has been, in the service of the State Government shall not be appointed as a member unless such person has held the post of Secretary to the State Government or any equivalent post in the State Government or Central Government.
Constitutional Challenge to Section 22 of RERA Act: The petitioner challenged the provision on the ground that Section 22 violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution; principles of independence of judiciary; separation of powers.
It has been contended that Section 22 does not provide for any judicial member in the composition of the Authority.
Furthermore, Section 22 has been challenged on the ground that the Selection Committee envisaged under the provision has Executive predominance over the Judiciary, with the number of representatives from the executive outnumbering those from the judiciary.
[M.D. Rajkumar v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Kar 46, decided on 31-07-2023]
*Order by Justice Krishna S. Dixit
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the petitioner- Sameer Sharma, Advocate
For the respondent- Kumar M.N., Senior Panel Counsel