Find ways to release loan to homebuyers: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the six banks that had collaborated with the Amrapali group to extend housing loans to buyers, asking them to work out on how remaining instalments can be released by them so that consumers can deposit the balance amount to be paid for their homes, construction of which will be completed by the National Building Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC).
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit asked the representatives of six banks — Bank of India, Bank of Boroda, Union Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Syndicate Bank and Bank of Maharashtra — to be present before the court on October 4. The suggestion to do so came from senior advocate R Venkataramani who has been appointed as a receiver in the case by the top court.
With regard to payment of service tax, the court clarified, the liability should be imposed on flat buyers only to the extent of the amount they have not paid. To streamline the process of deposit of payments to be received by homebuyers and disbursement of money, the court ordered opening a bank account with the UCO bank. A format, as advised by the receiver, would be uploaded by the bank and also by the authorities of Noida and Greater Noida on their websites. Additionally, individual notices would be issued to the homebuyers by the receiver’s office. The court said money would be released to NBCC for construction by Venkataramani under court’s orders.
The bench also asked NBCC, the receiver and court-appointed forensic auditors to work out the modus-operandi and feasibility to sell 5,229 unsold flats. Sale of the flats can fetch an amount of Rs 2,337 crore, advocate ML Lahoty told the bench following which the order was passed.
SC had in July this year cancelled the Rera licence and lease deeds of the Amrapali group and appointed state-run National Buildings Construction Corp Ltd (NBCC) to complete all its pending projects. The judgement with far-reaching consequences came on a batch of petitions filed by homebuyers who had challenged the insolvency proceedings against the real-estate firm.
SC had on the last hearing in August ordered officials of Noida and Greater Noida authorities to create a special cell to ease problems of the Amrapali homebuyers. The authorities have since started the process of registration of flats.
On the receiver’s advise the court on Wednesday ordered execution of the tripartite agreement and said the verification of the homebuyers would be carried out by the receiver’s office. For this, the court said, Venkataramani can induct people of his own choice and, if required, direct Noida and Greater Noida officials to assist him.
SC also relaxed its last month’s order that restrained sale of 151 units constructed in the Golf Link City Projects in Greater Noida for which Amrapali had collaborated with another private firm, Royal Golf Link City Projects Private Limited, so that the latter could raise a little over ₹60 crore and deposit the money with the court registry.
The bench asked Royal Golf Link City Projects Private Limited’s managing director, directors and its chief financial officer to file an undertaking promising the payment.
The bench said the company would be allowed to sell 50 per cent of housing units and 50 per cent of the villas built under this project. The entire money has to be deposited by January 10, 2020 and will be utilised to construct the unfinished Amrapali flats.
On the issue of whether floor area ratio of the sites where housing projects were earmarked , the court said, it would decide the matter later.