The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the board of management of Unitech Group to upload on its website the timeline for completion of its stalled projects for the benefit of the hassled home buyers.
It also asked the board to upload within 48 hours the newly revised payment plan under which the home buyer is required to make payments and asked the flat buyers to give their suggestions or feedback, if any, to the board of management, which would facilitate the court in passing the orders in this regard.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said that the funds receivable from the home buyers or unsold inventories shall be used only for the construction purpose and would not be allowed to be diverted for any other purposes.
“The revised payment plan as proposed by the Unitech Group shall be uploaded on its web portal within 48 hours, under which the home buyers are required to make their payments. Any home buyers, who wish to give any suggestions, if any, can write to the board, to facilitate the court passing the final order. The board shall also update the website with the timeline for completion of the stalled projects”, it said.
The bench also approved the plan of the committee headed by former apex court judge AM Sapre in making the refund to the home buyers especially those who are in urgent medical need after consulting with them for 15 days starting from September 15 till September 30.
The bench said that the Sapre committee will submit its report by the first week of October to the court, which if approved, would direct the release of funds to the home buyers.
Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, appearing for the Unitech board of management said that they would upload everything on its website for the benefit of home buyers and other stakeholders but were waiting for orders from the court.
“We didn’t want the home buyers to interpret the proposals of Unitech Group in their own way which would have led to more confusion and hence we thought of first getting the court’s order”, Venkataraman said.
Senior advocate Ravindra Kumar raised serious objections on aspects related to the payment to NOIDA and Greater NOIDA and said that huge stretches of land have been given to Unitech, which had failed all kinds of deadlines including for starting the construction at the site.
He pointed out that despite being statutory bodies, Noida and Greater Noida have been left out of the funds to be payable to them and the dues from Unitech could be estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore.
The bench told Kumar that if the company had gone into bankruptcy, then they would not have got anything but here in the present case; there is a chance that once the construction starts, both bodies will get something. The bench posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
On July 27, the top court clarified that it has not authorised any intermediary to collect any charges from home buyers for providing updates regarding judicial proceedings.
It has expressed surprise that a lawyer was collecting money from homebuyers for providing details of the hearing in the matter.
The lawyer later apologised and assured the bench that money would be returned to the home buyers.
Earlier, the top court had also appointed former Supreme Court Judge AM Sapre to look into the policy and finalization of standard operating procedure for monetization of project land assets and non-project land assets of Unitech.
The ED had recently filed a fresh charge sheet before a court here in connection with its money laundering probe against realty group Unitech, its ex-promoter brothers Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, and others.
The ED had made a startling claim in November last year that it had unearthed a “secret underground office” here which was being operated by erstwhile Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra and visited by his sons Sanjay and Ajay when on parole or bail.
Both Sanjay and Ajay, in jail since August 2017, are accused of allegedly siphoning off home buyers’ money.