'Don't play smart or we will render you homeless'. That was the Supreme Court's (SC) categorical warning to real estate major Amrapali Group that is accused of delaying its projects to the detriment of homebuyers' interest.
The apex court said it would not allow the company to collect money from the hassled homebuyers and warned that "each and every property" of the managing directors and directors of the Noida-based firm would be sold to recover the cost of construction of its pending real estate projects.
"The real problem is that you have delayed giving possession of homes. Don't try to play smart or we will sell each and every property of yours and render you homeless. You (directors) will have to look for your houses like you are making others wait for their homes. We will sell each and every thing of yours," a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit said.
The bench got annoyed after the Amrapali Group submitted a proposal to sell commercial properties worth Rs 400 crore, as against the expected cost of Rs 4,000 crore to be incurred in completing its pending projects.
"You are giving us a proposal of just Rs 400 crore against the expected cost of Rs 4,000 crore for completion of pending project. You are actually acting smart. When you are before the court, you have to be sincere and upright. The day is not far when you will compel us to sell your properties," the bench said.
It observed that people who had invested Rs 50 lakh in 2008 for a property was now valued at Rs 2.5 crore and those who invested Rs one crore, that property was now worth Rs 4 crore. It sought details of immovable and movable properties of managing directors and directors of the company along with their valuation report within 15 days.
The top court asked the real estate firm to file a concrete proposal by August 14, for raising Rs 4,000 crore by selling its properties for completion of pending projects by National Buildings Construction Corporation India Ltd (NBCC).
It asked the Amrapali Group to furnish on affidavit the details of all bank accounts of each director and the group companies operational since 2008, the names of directors who are serving or have left the company, names of two companies whose accounts do not reflect any business transaction, within 15 days.
During the hearing, Advocate Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for Amrapali, said it can raise Rs 6,119 crore, including Rs 5,112 crore dues from home buyers and remaining from its unsold inventories.
To this, the bench said it would not allow the Group to collect money from the homebuyers and it was actually the firm which should pay them for delayed possession of flats.
"We have already given the pending projects to NBCC and we will not go back on that decision. It will start work by next month. You to have submit a concrete proposal for selling of the properties for raising funds. NBCC can't construct from air," the bench said.
Bhatia said the commercial properties in its Silicon City project and others and can generate around Rs 406 crore.
Advocate M L Lahoti, appearing for home buyers, submitted a note giving details of projects of Amrapali and said the group has shopping malls at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Purnia in Bihar, hotels and resorts at Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Deoghar in Jharkhand and Udaipur in Rajasthan which could be sold and funds raised for construction of the pending projects.
The bench asked the Group to furnish the details of unencumbered properties which could fetch good price on sale within a fortnight. It sought comprehensive details of companies which have been engaged in maintenance work in Amrapali projects and how much money they have collected towards electricity and maintenance charges from residents and the amount spent so far.
The bench's direction came after it was informed that electricity supply of two projects--Zodiac and Silicon City--at Noida have been cut off on account of arrears of Rs 2.23 crore.
It directed the power companies to restore the supply of electricity to the two projects immediately and said that their arrears will be paid. The court also dispensed with the arrangements of two Interim Resolution Professionals, who were incharge of Silicon City and Zodiac projects after Amrapali Group got involved in insolvency proceedings.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on 14 August.
The NBCC had on 2 August told the apex court it was ready to undertake the projects of the Amrapali group, which has failed to hand over possession of flats to around 42,000 home buyers. The top court had earlier cracked the whip on the group for playing "fraud" and "dirty games" with the court and ordered attachment of all the bank accounts and movable properties of 40 firms of the real estate major.
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Updated Date: Aug 09, 2018 11:19:54 IST