Amrapali case: SC to NBCC – Ready a plan in 30 days to complete projects

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New Delhi | Updated: August 3, 2018 3:55:52 AM

In a big relief to Amrapali homebuyers, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked  the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to undertake all the unfinished housing projects of the group and submit a concrete proposal and a time-frame within 30 days on how it will complete them.

The Supreme Court also took note of the diversion of Rs 2,765 crore of homebuyers’ money by the Amrapali group for other purposes.

In a big relief to Amrapali homebuyers, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked  the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to undertake all the unfinished housing projects of the group and submit a concrete proposal and a time-frame within 30 days on how it will complete them.
This could benefit 42,000 stranded homebuyers who are yet to get possession of their flats despite paying around 90% of the amount.

The Supreme Court also took note of the diversion of Rs 2,765 crore of homebuyers’ money by the Amrapali group for other purposes.

A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit directed Amrapali’s statutory auditors to examine accounts of all 40 companies of the group and file a comprehensive report on the diversion of the homebuyers’ money.

The apex court also directed its registry to intimate the banks about its order on freezing of all the bank accounts of the Amrapali group of companies and its directors.

It also recalled its earlier order asking the group to deposit Rs 250 crore, while noting that the group had failed to comply with its directions and also adhere to the undertakings furnished to the court. Amrapali’s conduct was “wholly unfair” and “absolutely improper”, the judges said.

“You (group) have not deposited the money. How can we rely on you? Why should we trust you? You are not providing water (to homebuyers who have got possession) and have no lifts. You have earned money and you are not even providing water. What kind of a person are you?,” the bench said.

Uttar Pradesh ministry of housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra and NBCC chairman Anoop Kumar Mittal were present in the court as the apex court had on Wednesday asked them to appear and explain why they had issued advertisements inviting co-developers for doing the work related to the Amrapali group without taking its approval. Though both of them apologised, the bench told them sternly that their “attempts to scuttle the court proceedings were clear contempt of court”. Later, speaking to FE, Mittal said, “We will comply with the court’s order.”

Mishra told the court that the UP government has constituted a committee under his chairmanship to look into the problem of homebuyers of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway and that the panel was set up to take a policy decision on ways to resolve the problem.

He said the panel held its meetings on June 25 and July 10 after which four realtors – Amrapali, Unitech, Jaypee and 3C – were called for a meeting on July 18 to know about the status of their projects and problems faced by the buyers.

Mittal informed the judges that NBCC had issued a general advertisment inviting co-developers and it was not specifically for Amrapali group.

The court told the NBCC that funds collected by the group from home buyers would be made available to them to complete the projects and asked the builder and representatives of the buyers to assist the corporation and provide all documents.

The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on August 8.

The top court had on Wednesday flayed the Amrapali group for “defrauding investors” and playing “dirty games” with it and had directed attachment of all bank accounts and movable properties of 40 companies of the real estate group. It freezed all the bank account of all directors of 40 companies and also restrained them from selling their personal properties without the permission of the court.

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