The Supreme Court today restrained the directors of real estate major Amrapali Group from leaving the country without its permission. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the company and sought its reply within two weeks on a plea filed by Amrapali Silicon City Flat Owners Welfare Society. The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, appointed senior advocate Shekhar Naphade as amicus curiae to assist it by espousing the home buyers’ cause. In a similar petition by 100 home buyers who invested in three other projects of Amrapali Centurion Park Pvt Ltd at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, the apex court had on October 6 issued notice to the Centre and the housing group. This plea sought quashing of a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order initiating insolvency proceedings against Amrapali Silicon City Pvt Ltd under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 as the proceedings affected the home buyers of Amrapali Centurion Park Pvt Ltd.
Under the bankruptcy law, consumer and recovery cases and decrees passed by civil courts and consumer fora in favour of home buyers against real estate firms could not be executed once insolvency proceedings begin at the NCLT. The plea has sought that either the home buyers are treated equally with banks and FIs, or the provisions of the bankruptcy code, which give priority to lending institutions, be held ultra vires to the Constitution as being violative of fundamental rights like rights to equality and life.