Expressing displeasure over the dilly-dallying of embattled real estate firm Unitech in depositing money to compensate harried home buyers, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked its directors and subsidiaries to submit a list of their personal assets, which would be considered for auctioning if the company fails to deposit Rs 100 crore by May 11. The real estate company was to deposit the amount it would raise through sale of its power firm in Bengaluru to a prospective buyer.
Unitech was supposed to deposit with the court a total of Rs 750 crore by December to secure bail of its managing director Sanjay Chandra. The money has not yet been deposited and repeated requests to release Chandra have been denied by court. Chandra is seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi HC on August 11 last year rejected his plea in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects Wild Flower Country and Anthea Project in Gurugram.
The top court had earlier directed the jail authorities to facilitate Chandra’s meeting with his company officials and lawyers so that he could arrange money to refund the buyers as well as for completing the ongoing housing projects. A total of 4,688 home buyers are claiming a refund of Rs 1,865 crore from Unitech. They had booked their flats in various housing projects undertaken by the company.
The bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also asked Unitech to file a list of encumbered properties and the extent of the encumbrance on each asset so that the court could take appropriate action. “No director of Unitech is allowed to alienate or create third-party rights,” it said.
Unitech’s counsel also told the court that it had submitted a sum of Rs 38 crore with the registry of the apex court and the same would be dispersed on a pro rata basis to home buyers who have submitted their details on the designated portal for recovery or have secured a favourable order from the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Even amicus curiae Pawan Shree Agarwal has been asked to identify persons who have properties in projects that have been co-developed by Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure so that the Rs 48 crore amount deposited by it can be disbursed on pro rata basis among those seeking refund.