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Unitech owes over Rs7,800 crore to 16,300 home buyers, Supreme Court told

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-09-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: Unitech owes a total of over Rs7,800 crore to 16,300 home buyers in 61 projects that have been undertaken by the real estate company, advocate Pawan Shree Agrawal, appointed by the Supreme Court to assist it, said on Thursday.

Agrawal told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the figures were based on a designated website created to maintain accounts of Unitech’s different projects, home buyers and the extend of refund granted to each of them.

The portal would be operational by Friday.

Aiding the refund process, CJI Misra directed that home buyers who had purchased flats in the 61 projects would have to specify on the website whether they wished to continue with the possession of the flats or sought a refund. Those to whom the possession has been handed will not be entitled to exercise an option in this exercise.

Counsel for Unitech director, Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra, Abhimanyu Bhandari urged the court to grant them interim bail in order to assist in the refund process.

“He has been in jail for more than 45 days. I am praying to the court to grant him six months time so that he can be in his office and work at refunding the money that is stuck in land on which the projects are located,” Bhandari said.

This plea was rejected as the court indicated that it may consider auctioning the properties through a court appointed receiver in the future.

On 15 September, the court had denied interim bail to both Sanjay and Ajay Chandra and asked for a detailed list of refunds by the company to home buyers.

This would include the extent to which individual buyers have been refunded by the company till now, subject to which the court was to decide whether or not to grant bail at the next hearing.

Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra along with others are embroiled in a case of alleged forgery lodged by home buyers of its Gurugram-based housing project.

Additionally, the court had asked amicus curiae (friend of the court) Agrawal to maintain accounts of Unitech’s different projects, home buyers and the extent of refund granted to each of them through a designated website.

As a last opportunity, the court had asked for collation of details with regards to the refunds and their extent to home buyers. Unitech has not submitted the complete details till date because of which Chandra has been denied interim bail on numerous occasions.

Chandra had moved the apex court against the 11 August order of the Delhi high court refusing to grant interim bail.

On 1 April, the court had sent both the accused to police custody after the prosecution said their custodial interrogation was required to find out the alleged money trail, beneficiaries of the transactions and recovery of project-related documents and other evidence.

The matter will be heard next on 23 October.

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