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‘I’ll sell my house’: Unitech promoter seeks bail to raise funds for refund

Promoters of the Unitech construction company Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay were sent to jail last week in connection with a cheating case registered by investors in a Gurgaon project.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2017 22:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Unitech builders,Unitech Gurgaon,Gurgaon
Buyers protest against Unitech at Gurgaon’s Sector 33 in 2014. (HT File Photo)

Unitech Ltd promoter Sanjay Chandra on Wednesday promised to repay flat buyers within three months, and urged the Supreme Court to release him on interim bail for that period.

“I will sell my own house and pay everybody. I want to settle with everyone,” Chandra’s lawyer Abhimanyu Bhandari submitted before a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra, adding that he needs to be released from judicial custody to raise funds.

Chandra and his brother, Ajay, were sent to jail last week in connection with a cheating case registered against them by investors in a Gurgaon project. Though a trial court had given them interim bail for three months in April, it was not extended on August 11. Later, the Delhi high court also refused to grant them relief.

Chandra then moved the apex court against the high court order. Bhandari submitted that several demands have been raised against the company, and his client needs to be in office to fulfill them.

“If I am left in judicial custody, the entire company will collapse. I need to be out of the jail to arrange for the money, which I will do by selling my assets,” the counsel said.

He asked the court to let Chandra out on bail for three months, after which the court could impose conditions on him. “I am not asking for regular bail. Please see my conduct, and then decide after three months whether I should remain outside or not,” the lawyer argued on Chandra’s behalf.

Bhandari said 62 of the 152 investors who filed a complaint with the Delhi Police’s economic offence wing have already received settlements. The principle amount yet to be paid in the case comes up to Rs 35 crore.

“If I fail to meet the demands, punish me. But give me three months to complete the demand,” Chandra said in his plea.

The bench had earlier taken the petitioner to task, stating that the demeanour of construction companies tends to change when consumers approach them for refunds. “This complexion changes when an investor comes to your office. This is the reality, and we are speaking out of experience,” commented justice AK Roy, one of the bench members.

The court then asked the Delhi Police to submit a report on how many complainants approached them for registering the case, and what is the total principle amount owed by the company. The status report would also contain information on the number of flat buyers who have been accorded monetary compensation, and how many opted for flats instead. The police will also provide details on the number of buyers who haven’t been paid, and the money Unitech is required to cough up. The court fixed the next hearing on August 25.

The case was registered on July 31, 2015, in compliance with a July 27 order passed by a Delhi court on the complaint of Delhi residents Arun and Urmila Bedi. They alleged that the firm had convinced them to book a flat at a residential project called Wild Flowers Country in Gurgaon for a sum of Rs 57.34 lakh in August 2011.

Later, more complaints concerning the same project were registered against the firm. They were clubbed with the previous FIR. Police claimed that the firm collected around Rs 363 crore, over Rs 35 crore of which was received from 91 complainants who are part of the present complaint.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 16:43 IST