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SC orders auction of Unitech properties to refund homebuyers

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra fixed a four-week deadline to auction Unitech’s Agra properties and six weeks to sell the assets in Varanasi and Sriperumbudur.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2018 13:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
SC,Unitech,SN Dhingra panel
Buyers of Unitech Anthea floors hold a protest at the project site in sector 70, in Gurugram on Sunday, July 01, 2018. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked a panel headed by former Delhi high court judge justice SN Dhingra to go ahead with the auction of Unitech’s unencumbered properties in Agra, Varanasi and Sriperumbudur to raise funds to refund money to homebuyers.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra fixed a four-week deadline to auction the Agra properties and six weeks to sell the assets in Varanasi and Sriperumbudur.

According to advocate Pawan Shree Agarwal, who is assisting the court in the matter, Rs 600 crore will be raised through the auction. However, a shortfall of Rs 1,400 crore will still remain as Unitech reportedly owes Rs 2,000 crore to its buyers, who invested in the company’s real estate projects.

Unitech was also ordered to submit a list of all its unencumbered properties by July 9. Personal asset details of its directors, too, have to be furnished, the court ordered.

Meanwhile, the income tax department moved the apex court for making itself a party in the ongoing litigation, claiming that the real estate firm owed it Rs 950 crore as tax. However, the court said it would not hear the department at this juncture.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari urged the court to allow custody parole to Unitech directors Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra. The two brothers have been in custody for over 325 days, they said. .

“If they are out, they would be able to generate more funds,” the counsel said. The court did not pass any plea on the request.

The bench also asked Agarwal and Unitech’s counsel to sit together and verify the list of homebuyers so that refund can be made to genuine claims and there is no duplication.

The bench also asked Unitech to respond to the allegations of some homebuyers, who have taken possession of their flats, that the high-rise buildings neither have lifts, water or power backup.

It fixed July 16 as the next date of hearing.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 13:00 IST