Unitech flat buyers..SC says will auction assets of builder
| Sept. 21, 2017, 9:29 p.m.
New Delhi, Sep 21 The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will appoint a court commissioner as receiver of real estate major Unitech's properties to realise the Rs 7,600 crore to be paid to home buyers if they opt for refund of the amount given for buying flats.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar also said that they would put to auction the assets of Unitech for realising the money.
The court said this as amicus curiae Pawan Agrawal told the court that in 61 projects of the real estate major, there are 16,300 flat buyers with total involvement of Rs 7,816 crore.
"We will put to auction," Chief Justice Misra said as counsel for Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director of Unitech, urged the court to set him free for six months and he will build the flats and also mobilise the money to pay the home buyers who wish to opt out.
"We have to balance an individual's interest with the tears of 16,000 poor flat buyers," the court said as Chandra's counsel Abhimanyu Bhandari told the bench that his client "will go down the drain" and sought six months' time to arrange the finances and start the business cycle start, noting that out of Rs 272 crore that were decreed against me, he had already paid Rs 141 crore.
Pointing out that all over the world real estate companies go into the red and Chandra was the only one in jail, Bhandari urged the court to allow his client to go to his office.
The court however appeared to be taking a dim view of real estate majors taking the home buyers for a ride by not adhering to schedules of the completion of project and delaying it by years.
On Wednesday itself, the top court had asked Unitech to pay litigation cost of Rs 80,000 each to 39 home buyers - who later opted out of Unitech's Vistas project in Gurugram - and got refund of their principal amount with 14 per cent interest on the apex court's directions.
Meanwhile, Agrawal informed the court that as directed, he has created a portal having the details on Unitech's projects including the home buyers, financial status and other information and this would become operational from Friday.
The court directed the hearing of the matter on October 23.
Chandra and his brother Ajay were arrested in April this year after investors who did not get their flats as promised filed complaints of cheating against them.
They were sent to judicial custody after the trial court refused to extend the three months interim bail granted to them in April.
The Delhi High Court too refused to extend the interim bail that came to an end on August 10.