Govt-appointed New Unitech board to discuss way forward

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Published: January 25, 2020 12:55:24 AM

The seven-member board has been asked by the Supreme Court to prepare a resolution framework of the company and submit a comprehensive proposal within two months.

unitech, real estate sectorUnitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra are currently lodged in Tihar jail for allegedly siphoning off homebuyers’ money.

The government-appointed new board of Unitech in its first meeting on January 28 will discuss the way forward for the embattled realty firm. The seven-member board, headed by Haryana cadre IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik, has been asked by the Supreme Court to prepare a resolution framework of the company and submit a comprehensive proposal within two months.

Last Monday, the apex court accepted the government’s proposal to take over the management control of Unitech and superseded its existing board and appointed a new board headed by Malik as its chairman and managing director.

The new board includes AK Mittal, former CMD of National Buildings Construction Corporation; Renu Sud Karnad, chairman of HDFC Credila Financial Services; Jitu Virwani, CMD of Bengaluru-based real estate firm Embassy Group and Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and managing director of Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group. The Board also includes B Sriram, former MD and CEO of IDBI Bank, and Girish Kumar Ahuja, Independent Director, SBI.

The apex court also said that the new Board would appoint a retired judge to monitor the preparation of the resolution framework. “There shall be a two-month moratorium on any fresh legal proceedings initaited against Unitech. Moratorium shall also extend to existing proceedings and on enforcement of orders passed against the company,” it said, adding that the current proceedings shall stand suspended to help the new board take charge.

Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra are currently lodged in Tihar jail for allegedly siphoning off homebuyers’ money.

Audit firm Grant Thornton’s forensic report on the Unitech group and its subsidiary firms had accused the erstwhile board of siphoning off almost half of the homebuyers’ money.

In an interim report, the audit firm had said that Unitech received around Rs14,270 crore from 29,800 home buyers mostly between 2006-2014 and around `1,805 crore from six financial institutions for the construction of 74 projects.

The audit revealed that around Rs 5,063 crore of home buyers money and around `763 crore of fund received from financial institutions were not utilised by the company and high value investments were made off-shore tax-haven countries between 2007-2010.

The National Company Law Tribunal on December 8, 2017 had accepted the Centre’s move to suspend the current directors and also restrain promoters from alienating the assets of the company. However, the SC on December 13, 2017 had stayed the NCLT’s order and later the Centre had to withdraw its plea from the tribunal.

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