Boost for Jaypee Infra flatbuyers? Jaiprakash Associates set to put Yamuna Expressway on block to pay them back

By: | Published: October 14, 2017 5:55 AM

Jaiprakash Associates moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to “hive off” its Yamuna Expressway toll asset rights.

Jaypee Infra, Noida, Yamuna ExpresswayThe Jaypee Infra has 37 years’ licence period ending 2050 to operate and maintain the 165-km, six-lane expressway connecting Noida with Agra. (PTI)

Real estate developer Jaiprakash Associates (JAL) on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to “hive off” its Yamuna Expressway toll asset rights to generate Rs 2,000 crore that it is supposed to deposit to cover part of its subsidiary Jaypee Infratech’s liability towards 32,000 homebuyers.

Counsel Anupam Lal Das told a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that Jaypee is willing to deposit the money, but needs approval to “hive off its operation, collection and maintenance rights for a limited period” to raise the funds. He told FE that the Jaypee group has a “firm and concrete offer from an investor” who is willing to pay Rs 2,500 crore for the toll asset rights and the company will submit the details of the offer in a sealed cover to “maintain commercial confidentiality”.

The Jaypee Infra has 37 years’ licence period ending 2050 to operate and maintain the 165-km, six-lane expressway connecting Noida with Agra. According to sources, its annual toll collections on the expressway is around Rs 200 crore.

The bench has posted the limited issue for hearing on October 23.

The apex court had on September 11 asked JAL, the parent company of Jaypee Infratech, to deposit Rs 2,000 crore with its registry by October 27 to protect the interests of flat buyers. It had also asked the group to take approval of the the interim resolution professional (IRP) appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) before selling any property and restrained the directors and managing directors of Jaypee Infratech and JAL from travelling abroad without prior permission of the court.

It had also restored the insolvency resolution proceedings against Jaypee Infratech and directed the IRP to take over the “records and management” of the company and submit within 45 days an interim resolution that should safeguard interests of “low- and middle-income homebuyers” who have invested in the real estate major’s 27 housing projects in the national capital region.

The apex court also appointed senior counsel Shekhar Naphade and counsel Shubhangi Tuli to participate in the meetings of the committee of creditors to “espouse the cause of homebuyers and protect their interests”.

Flat buyers had challenged the August 9 order of the Allahabad bench of the NCLT that admitted IDBI Bank’s plea for initiating insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden Jaypee Infratech for defaulting on a Rs 526-crore loan. While initiating the liquidation proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India, 2016, the tribunal had appointed Anuj Jain, a chartered accountant, as the IRP to carry out the proceedings, as the board of directors of the company would remain suspended. The IRP was given 270 days to turn around the company’s finances and assess if a resolution of the company’s debt was possible, failing which the company’s assets were to be liquidated.

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