The Supreme Court today said that it will consider granting bail to Unitech Ltd Managing Director Sanjay Chandra after the embattled real estate firm deposits Rs 750 crore by December end. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the money, to be deposited in the apex court registry, will be used in facilitating refund to the home buyers who want their money back. The bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the authorities of Tihar jail, where Chandra is presently lodged, to facilitate his meeting with his company officials, financiers and lawyers so that he could arrange the money for refunding the home buyers as well as for completing the ongoing housing projects. Advocate Pawan Shree Aggarwal, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, told the bench that the real estate firm needed around Rs 2,000 crore to refund money to home buyers as well as completing the ongoing projects. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Chandra, told the court that they have given a plan for refund of money and completion of projects and they needed some time to do it.
The apex court has fixed the matter for hearing in the second week of January and granted liberty to Chandra to mention the matter for grant of bail after depositing Rs 750 crore in the apex court Registry. The Supreme Court had on October 23 asked the jailed Unitech Ltd MD to establish his bonafide by depositing at least Rs 1,000 crore out of a total of Rs 1,865 crore to refund hassled homebuyers who do not want possession of flats.
The apex court had also questioned the real estate firm why they cannot auction their properties to refund money to the homebuyers and complete their housing projects. The apex court had earlier directed the amicus curiae to create a website in which the home buyers could upload their details and claim flat or refund from the company.
Chandra is seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on August 11 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 Gurugram.
The apex court had on September 1 said that although it is absolutely conscious that it is dealing with an application for bail, but “the consumers who have invested their money in various projects undertaken by the petitioners cannot be allowed to lurch in the dark. Their problem has to be solved”.
It had said that settlement of the problem can take place in two ways — the consumers who are inclined to take possession of the flats can opt for the same and those who wanted their money back shall get the amount along with interest.