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Supreme Court to auction Unitech’s unencumbered assets to pay off home buyers

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipal Misra gave 15 more days to the Unitech promoters to reveal all their properties, including those abroad, to the court.

business Updated: Mar 12, 2018 22:46 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Unitech,Unitech home buyers,Supreme Court
Unitech Vista home buyers protest outside the Unitech House office at Sector 45 in Gurgaon.(HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday asked Unitech’s promoters to furnish details of all their encumbered personal properties and said it would auction these assets to refund money to homebuyers who had been “cheated” and “deceived” by the firm.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipal Misra gave 15 more days to the Unitech promoters to reveal all their properties, including those abroad, to the court. “For your fault, thousands of persons are suffering. All your astute efforts to delay the proceedings shall fail,” Justice Misra told the lawyers representing the firm.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, imposed a fine of ?25 lakh on JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company for filing an application in the case. Unitech had on the last hearing said that JM Financial had offered monetary support to complete its unfinished projects. The bench said the asset reconstruction firm had given an impression that it would pay the money to refund homebuyers.

JM Financial had informed the court in an application that it had taken over the loans advanced by HDFC to Unitech. “We treat it as unnecessary diversion from the main case,” the bench said.

Directions were also issued to advocate Pawan Shree Agrawal to prepare a list of those litigants who filed civil cases against Unitech to enable disbursement of ?38 crore lying with the top court’s registry. Unitech had deposited the money pursuant to the court orders that it would consider the a bail plea by the company’s managing director Sanjay Chandra only after a deposit of ?750 crore was made.

Chandra has been in jail since April last after. He was arrested in connection with a cheating case registered by the Delhi Police a complaint it received from buyers who had invested in a Unitech project in Gurgaon.

Unitech’s counsel, Abhimanyu Bhandari, opposed refunding money to homebuyers and urged the court to consider using the deposit to complete under-construction units. He argued that refunds would benefit only a few, while construction would help a large number of consumers who were waiting for their houses.

“Surplus units will be created, which could be sold to generate money to refund those who want their money back,” Bhandari said. But the court did not agree with Bhandari. A total of 4,688 homebuyers are claiming a refund of ?1,865 crore from Unitech for flats booked in various projects that have not been delivered by the company.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 14:18 IST