Supreme Court refuses bail to Unitech promoters in a case relating to siphoning home buyers’ money

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New Delhi | Published: January 23, 2019 6:43:53 PM

The apex court had on October 30, 2017 ordered that the Unitech Limited Managing Director Sanjay Chandra will be granted bail only after the real estate group deposits Rs 750 crore with the registry.

Supreme Court, Unitech, Unitech promoters, Sanjay Chandra, Unitech projectsThe court was informed that the amount computed for refund to the home buyers may go above Rs 2,000 crore, while there are some buyers who want possession of flats.

The Supreme Court Wednesday refused bail to Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra in a case relating to alleged siphoning off the home-buyers’ money. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said they have not complied with its October 30, 2017 order which asked them to deposit Rs 750 crore with the apex court registry. Lodged in Tihar jail for over one and half years, the two have sought bail on the ground that they are complying with the apex court order and have deposited over 400 crore.

The apex court had on October 30, 2017 ordered that the Unitech Limited Managing Director Sanjay Chandra will be granted bail only after the real estate group deposits Rs 750 crore with the registry. It directed the jail authorities to facilitate Chandra’s meeting with his company officials and lawyers so that he is able to arrange the money for refunding home buyers as well as for completing the ongoing housing projects.

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It also said that the visit to the jail should be made within the normal visiting hours as per the rules and Chandra’s counsel can also go there to meet him. “The jail authorities shall also arrange a place where the petitioners will be in a position to negotiate,” it said, while asking them to “make the video conferencing facility available to the petitioners within the visiting hours so that they shall be in a position to negotiate”.

The top court, however had made it clear that Chandra was only entitled to negotiate in respect of unencumbered properties or assets of the group. It also said that if any proceedings were pending against Chandra and the company, that may continue and the final order may be passed but no coercive steps would be taken for executing those orders.

The court was informed that the amount computed for refund to the home buyers may go above Rs 2,000 crore, while there are some buyers who want possession of flats. Counsel appearing for Chandra, had told the court that if they were given liberty, they would monetise their assets and would be able to complete the ongoing housing projects so that the buyers, who intend to have possession of flats, are satisfied.

The amicus curaie in the case informed the court that around 9,390 home buyers, out of a total of around 16,000, have responded to him on the issue of either seeking refund from the builder or getting possession of flats. He said around 4,700 buyers wanted refund. The matter pertains to a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects’ — ‘Wild Flower Country’ and ‘Anthea Project’ — situated in Gurugram.

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