Troubled real estate firm Unitech on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has finalised a deal for the sale of two land parcels in Chennai for around Rs 400 crore. It also said that it was in the process of selling three of its properties worth Rs 500 crore in Bengaluru and Chennai to arrange for the entire amount of Rs 750 crore as an interim condition to secure bail of it promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, who are lodged in Tihar jail in a fraud case filed against them by homebuyers of Gurgaon’s Anthea Floors project. The SC has allowed them special facilities to negotiate the sale of the group’s unencumbered assets to raise the money. A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has asked Chennai-based potential buyer Om Sakthy Agencies (Madras) to deposit a bank draft of Rs 400 crore with the Supreme Court registry to prove its “bona fide” by February 16, the next date of hearing. It also asked its representative to be personally present in the apex court on the next date of hearing.
Amicus curie PawanShree Agarwal informed the bench that Unitech had not complied with its January 12 directions to deposit Rs 750 crore by December 31 and had just deposited `18 crore on January 10 with the court registry towards refunding the homebuyers and also for completing the ongoing housing projects. He also argued that some directions should be passed seeking compliance of its orders. He contended that Unitech has filed an application offering to pay the entire refund amount in more than two years, but a similar offer made in the past before NCLT was not even complied with. “Not even a single penny was paid. They (Unitech) are just buying time,” Agarwal said.
According to him, the company owes more than 16,000 flats or homes to its buyers. A total of 4,688 home buyers are claiming a refund of Rs 1,865 crore from Unitech in various projects undertaken by the real estate company.
The Chandra brothers were arrested in April last year on a 2015 complaint filed by five buyers of Unitech’s Anthea Floors Wildflower Country project, including Delhi residents led by Arjun Bedi. Later, 90 more complaints were received against the firm for the same project, which were clubbed with the FIR. The buyers had alleged that Unitech did not return the money to them when they sought refund of their amount for delay in handing over the possession of their flats in the company’s housing project in Gurgaon. They had also accused the builder of duping several people.