The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Unitech Group’s board of directors to upload to its website the timetable for completing its stalled projects for the benefit of struggling homebuyers.
He also asked the council to upload within 48 hours the newly revised payment plan under which the home buyer is required to make payments and asked apartment buyers to provide any suggestions or their comments, if any, to the board of management, which would facilitate the court in making orders in this regard.
A panel of judges DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said funds to be received from home buyers or unsold inventory will only be used for construction purposes and cannot be diverted for other purposes.
“The revised payment plan as offered by Unitech Group is to be uploaded to its web portal within 48 hours, under which homebuyers are required to make their payments. Any homebuyer who wishes to make suggestions, if any, can write to the board to facilitate the court’s passage of the final order. The council will also update the website with the timeline for the completion of stalled projects,” he said.
The bench also endorsed the committee’s plan headed by former Supreme Court Justice AM Sapre to issue the refund to homebuyers, especially those in urgent medical need after consulting with them for 15 days from September 15-30. .
The bench said the Sapre committee will submit its report by the first week of October to the court, which, if approved, will direct the release of funds to homebuyers.
Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, appearing for Unitech’s board, said they would upload everything to its website for the benefit of homebuyers and other stakeholders, but were awaiting court orders.
“We didn’t want homebuyers to interpret Unitech Group’s proposals in their own way, which would have led to more confusion, so we thought about getting the court order first,” Venkataraman said.
Senior Solicitor Ravindra Kumar raised serious objections on aspects related to payment to NOIDA and Greater NOIDA and said huge tracts of land were given to Unitech which failed to meet all kinds of deadlines, including for the start of construction on the site.
He pointed out that despite being statutory bodies, Noida and Greater Noida have been excluded from the funds due to them and Unitech’s dues could be estimated at around Rs 10,000 crore.
The bench told Kumar that if the company had gone bankrupt then they would have gotten nothing but here in this case; there’s a chance that once construction starts, both bodies will get something. The bench released the case for a rehearing after two weeks.
On July 27, the high court clarified that it had not authorized any intermediaries to collect fees from homebuyers for providing updates regarding legal proceedings.
He expressed surprise that a lawyer was collecting money from homebuyers for providing hearing details in this case.
The lawyer then apologized and assured the bench that the money would be returned to the homebuyers.
Previously, the Supreme Court also appointed former Supreme Court Justice AM Sapre to review the policy and finalization of standard operating procedure for the monetization of Unitech’s project land assets and non-project land assets.
ED had recently filed a new indictment in court here as part of its money laundering investigation against property group Unitech, its former developer brothers Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, and others.
ED made a startling claim in November last year that it had discovered a ‘secret underground office’ here which was operated by former Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra and visited by his sons Sanjay and Ajay while on parole or bail.
Sanjay and Ajay, in jail since August 2017, are accused of siphoning off homebuyers’ money.