Refusing to grant an interim bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra in an alleged forgery case, the Supreme Court on Monday asked him to prove his bona fides by depositing at least Rs 1,000 crore which could be used to refund homebuyers.
Refusing to grant an interim bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra in an alleged forgery case, the Supreme Court on Monday asked him to prove his bona fides by depositing at least Rs 1,000 crore which could be used to refund homebuyers. Former solicitor general Ranjit Kumar requested a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra to release of Chandra for four weeks to arrange the money required to refund homebuyers and also for construction of flats. Unitech has deposited a total of Rs 20 crore so far, as directed by the court in earlier orders. “Unless he is allowed to come out of jail, the recovery becomes difficult. Being inside jail will not help the refund process. Allow him to come out for four weeks and the court may appoint a committee of lawyers to monitor the recovery process,” he argued. He said Chandra cannot raise the money required both for refunds and completing the ongoing projects without coming out.
However, the Bench rejected the bail, asking Chandra to first deposit a substantial amount of around Rs 1,000 crore and only then it would consider his bail plea. It also suggested that the partially complete flats of the real estate major spread over its 64 projects across the country be auctioned.
Amicus curiae Pawanshree Agrawal told the judges that a total of 4,688 home-buyers so far have claimed a refund of Rs 1,865 crore from the real estate firm. Unitech owes a total of over Rs 7,800 crore to 16,300 home-buyers in 61 projects that have been undertaken by it.
In his report submitted to the apex court, Agrawal also said around 4,350 home-buyers have so far sought possession of their flats from Unitech. He further argued that the figures were based on entries submitted by home buyers on the designated website created to maintain accounts of Unitech’s different projects, home buyers and the extent of refunds granted to each of them. However, he said that not all buyers would have submitted responses to the option as lot of them might not be aware.
The Supreme Court had last month ordered formation of a web portal for home buyers to register their claims for possession of flats or refunds. It had also assured home buyers that it will ensure relief according to their choice — getting the money back or allotment of a flat. The next date of hearing in the case has been kept on October 30.
Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay were arrested in April on a complaint filed by home buyers of the Unitech’s Gurugram-based Anthea Floors Wildflower Country project. Five buyers of the Unitech’s Anthea Floors Wildflower Country project including Delhi residents led by Arjun Bedi and others had filed a complaint for registration of FIR against the company in 2015.
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 Gurugram. They had also accused the builder of duping several people.