The Supreme Court’s direction to real estate major Unitech on Wednesday to deposit money for refunding apartment buyers in two projects in Gurgaon and Noida is significant for aggrieved investors. But, most buyers of Unitech Vistas in Gurgaon, who are not part of the Vistas group that sought relief from the SC, are circumspect over this decision.
While majority of Vistas buyers want the company to deliver apartments soon, some others want more clarity on payment of interest for delayed possession. The buyers association said that the project is stuck because the company could not get the licence, and building plan renewed because of non-payment of fees.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and UU Lalit directed Unitect to deposit `15 crore with its registry by the end of September. The bench will, however, take the decision on payment of interest for delay in delivery on October 4.
Unitech Vistas project was launched in 2009 in Sector 70 of Gurgaon, and it was to be delivered in December 2012. The project has 1,300 apartments in 23 towers with 14 floors each.
“We want Unitech to either deliver flats or pay penalty as directed by the national consumer commission. If the payment of interest is kept in abeyance, then this would mean justice has been denied to buyers,” Kiran Mahajan, a member of the buyers association, said. Buyers want the company to pay 12% interest for delayed payment and possession of flat as per directions of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
Buyers said the amount determined by the apex court to refund buyers is the minimum base price of the flats booked in 2009, and if that is the amount refunded to them, it would be great injustice. “We want to know whether this decision will be effective on other cases. How will the principal and interest be calculated and how rental value will be applied?” Joydeep Chakraborty, another buyer, said.
While most buyers agree that the SC decision would put pressure on the developer, they also said that Unitech Vistas is not mortgaged, and can be completed if Unitech shows the interest. “The entire project is stuck because licence, and revised building plan could not be renewed by the company as it claims that Huda has not paid money due to it,” Tejbir Rapria, vice-president, Vistas Residents Association, said.
The association said they had raised the matter with the CM during the district grievance meeting in June and got assurance that this issue would be resolved.
A Unitech spokesperson said the SC has agreed to hear the company’s appeal challenging the NCDRC order awarding interest as a compensation to homebuyers for delays in project. “Our counsel argued that the benchmark to the consumer at most can be loss of rental of the apartment for the period. The SC has asked the company to deposit the principal amount in court and has listed the matter for hearing on October, 2016.”