The Supreme Court has taken strong exception to the Delhi High Court order that put on hold all proceedings against Unitech in various consumer courts, saying it “smelt a rat” in the direction.
“The company judge thinks he is the Rome and Rome has spoken. What kind of order was passed? Thousands of people are suffering,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra noted in a stinging criticism of the September 2 HC order that directed the realty firm to hold meetings with home buyers and open escrow accounts for completion of delayed projects.
The court was hearing a plea against the HC order.
The bench was irked because the HC judgment virtually halted the hearing before the SC involving Unitech that has, on the top court’s direction, deposited money with regard to its incomplete project in Gurgaon.
“Give flats to those who want it and those who want the money let them do so,” the bench told Unitech counsel when he defended the HC order on the ground the company had no money and the escrow account would be under the supervision of a HC registrar.
The SC was surprised when the advocate strongly opposed any order against the HC judgment delivered on an application moved by some buyers. The counsel said an intervention at this juncture would force the company to go into liquidation.
But, SC did not relent and allowed the consumer courts to proceed with the hearing of complaints against Unitech over delayed possession of flats. It said the forum should also entertain execution petition to ensure consumers are either given their flats or refunded the money they deposited while booking.
Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra of the HC, who retired on September 6, in his order, said four meetings of home buyers should be held on November 20 in Mohali, Punjab, on November 27 in Chennai, on December 4 in Gurgaon and on December 11 in Noida.
The court had put in “abeyance” all the proceedings pending before different forums against Unitech Ltd to enable it to fulfil its commitment towards homebuyers by handing over possession of flats. It also appointed a court commissioner to monitor the functioning of the escrow account.