F1 circuit: High court asks Jaypee group to deposit ₹100 crore
The Allahabad high court has directed the Jaypee Infratech Limited to deposit ₹100 crore, of the ₹600 crore it owes the authority, if it wants the court to hear its plea on retaining allotment of the Formula One racing track Buddh International Circuit. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (Yeida), on February 13, had sealed India’s first and only Formula One track after Jaypee failed to pay the dues.
Before that, on December 21, 2019, the Yeida had cancelled the allotment of 1,000 hectares to Jaypee on which the F1 circuit has been built.
YEIDA officials have also started the process of issuing a global tender to auction the property and recover its dues. But Jaypee Infratech Limited, which developed the circuit, filed a petition before the Allahabad high court seeking a stay on the cancellation of allotment and the sealing on the grounds that Yeida could not provide basic services such as sewer connection and water supply to the property, as per its promises.
Homebuyers, who had bought flats had also filed a plea in this case seeking protection of their investment. But the high court directed buyers to seek relief from the UP real estate regulatory authority (UP-Rera), the Jaypee spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said, “As per the HC order, we will deposit ₹50 crore to the Yeida and ₹50 crore will be deposited later. We hope we will get justice in this case as we have already tried paying the dues.”
“The court has asked the Jaypee Infratech Limited to first deposit ₹100 crore before the case is further heard. It will help the authority to recover some of its dues,” Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer. Yeida, said.
Jaypee group had built the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in October 2011. Designed by Hermann Tilke, BIC hosted the Indian Grand Prix from 2011 to 2013. The venue was removed from the F1 calendar in 2014. Jaypee developed several other sports facilities, including a cricket stadium and other associated buildings for F1 races, on the plot along the 165km Yamuna Expressway, which connects Greater Noida with Agra.
Jaypee’s infrastructure projects have been mired in controversies, with around 6,000 homebuyers and investors struggling to get their units for several years. Jaypee Infratech Limited, the group’s infrastructure company, has been facing corporate insolvency proceedings since 2017. It has collected ₹1,924 crore in funds by selling property to buyers.
The firm has failed to pay land dues to Yeida for several years now. The authority said it had issued several notices since March 29, 2017, demanding dues of around ₹600 crore.