The Supreme Court on Friday rejected Jaiprakash Associates’ (JAL) plea for conditional deposit of Rs 600 crore in lieu of hiving off its cement assets and a toll project on the Yamuna Expressway after homebuyers opposed the proposal. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra posted the matter for final hearing on Monday (July 16) to decide JAL’s ability to repay homebuyers and complete the projects. It will also hear the homebuyers and the IRP on the next date of hearing. Senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for JAL, said that the company is ready to give post-dated cheques for Rs 600 crore subject to the condition that it be allowed to hive off the toll project on the Yamuna Expressway. He said that the cheques are dated between July 13 and August 27 and the Registrar of the SC can encash the cheques on the due dates for refunding homebuyers.
However, he said that prior approval to sell off the project should be granted for raising the money. This was opposed by homebuyers and lenders including IDBI Bank, saying the the expressway property was that of Jaypee Infratech (JIL). The proposal came pursuant to the SC asking JAL on July 4 to come up with a credible financial plan for deposit of Rs 600 crore for refund of the principal amount to homebuyers who have opted to take refund. Earlier the court had on May 16 directed JAL to deposit Rs 1,000 crore by June 15.
While JAL in November was asked to deposit the Rs 2,000 crore in instalments so as to cover part of its subsidiary JIL’s liability towards 30,000 homebuyers, the company has so far deposited only Rs 750 crore with the SC registry for ensuring refund to homebuyers.
JAL had earlier this month sought permission from the SC to restructure debt and sell cement assets so that it could satisfy the deposit of Rs 1,000 crore. JAL wants the apex court to direct National Company Law Tribunal’s Allahabad bench to decide its case at the earliest. As of now, the NCLT is not deciding the restructuring issue as the SC had last year restrained JAL from transferring any of its assets without leave of the apex court.
JAL, with a debt of nearly Rs 29,000 crore, featured in the RBI’s second list of 28-30 companies to be taken to the NCLT. JIL, whose total liability stands at Rs 1,575 crore, was among 12 companies against whom banks were asked by the RBI to start bankruptcy proceedings in June last year.
The apex court had on September 11 restored the insolvency resolution proceedings against JIL and directed the IRP to take over the “records and management” of the company. Flat buyers had challenged the August 9 order of the NCLT that admitted the IDBI Bank’s plea for initiating insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden Jaypee Infratech for defaulting on a Rs 526-crore loan