The Supreme Court today took note of all the unencumbered assets of real estate major Unitech Limited and ordered that a public notice be issued inviting objections for auctioning them to realise the dues of the hassled home buyers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also imposed a cost of Rs 75 lakh on Om Shakti Agency (Madras) Pvt Ltd for its submission that it cannot deposit Rs 90 crore with the apex court Registry in lieu of purchasing Unitech Ltd’s property near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
The company had earlier said it was going to purchase the land of Unitech Ltd and deposit the money with the apex court, which in turn would have disbursed it to the home buyers who wanted their money back.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, took strong note of the submission that the company cannot deposit the money as it does not have the required funds.
The apex court also asked lawyer Pawan Shri Agarwal, appointed as an amicus curiae to assist it in addressing the grievances of the home buyers, to issue a public notice in prominent dailies for ascertaining that the properties were free from incumberances and may be auctioned.
The bench, meanwhile, considered the submission of senior advocate Ranjit Kumar that a Bangalore-based company has taken over one of the subsidiaries of Unitech and would be paying about Rs 100 crore, which will be deposited with the apex court.
Unitech Ltd also said it was going to dispose of its 26 acres land near Bangalore and asked the court to allow it to enter into the sale agreement with the purchaser.
The court had earlier restrained the real estate company from selling or alienating its properties. Today, the bench modified the order and allowed the company to go ahead with the sale of land in Bangalore.
The apex court considered the submission that several civil courts and tribunals have been taking coercive steps against the company and its jailed director Sanjay Chandra.
No court or authority shall take further coercive action against Unitech Ltd or its subsidiaries, it said, adding that the criminal courts can proceed with their matters against them.
The bench posted the matter for hearing on May 2.
Earlier, the court had asked Unitech Limited and its MD Sanjay Chandra to give a list of its unencumbered properties in India and abroad and made it clear that they would be auctioned to clear dues of home buyers.
The bench had granted the real estate firm and its incarcerated MD time till March 26 to give a list of its unencumbered properties in India and abroad.
The apex court had on October 30 last year said that its MD Sanjay Chandra would be granted bail only after the real estate group deposited money with its registry by December-end.
The top court had also directed the jail authorities to facilitate Chandra’s meeting with his company officials and lawyers so that he could arrange money to refund the home-buyers as well as complete the ongoing housing projects.
Chandra is seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on August 11 last year had rejected the plea in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home-buyers of Unitech projects’ — ‘Wild Flower Country‘ and ‘Anthea Project‘ — situated in Gurgaon in Haryana.