Supreme Court to the rescue of Amrapali and Unitech Homebuyers



Justice delayed is justice denied- William E. Gladstone

The above quote rightly suits to the real estate situation in our country. For years the real estate market in our country was run by capitalistic builders who did everything in their power to suppress the innocent homebuyers. The buyers were left without a structured remedy and had to wait for years to get justice. The implementation of new real estate law i.e. RERA and the proactive approach of top notch Courts in the country have come to the rescue of harassed homebuyers.

Finally! The apex court of our country has passed an order in favour of the aggrieved home buyers who have been waiting to get justice against named builders of the country which is the AMRAPALI Group and UNITECH. Tuesday brought a sigh of relief for the homebuyers of both the groups as Supreme Court in first of its kind order has ordered the auction of unencumbered personal assets of directors and promoters to repay the aggrieved homebuyers.

The personal assets of the directors of UNITECH along with two properties located at Kolkata are under hammer for auctioning. The tasks of auctioning the Kolkata properties have been allocated to the Justice S.N. Dhingra Committee which was appointed by the Supreme Court itself. The auction of Kolkata properties itself is expected to fetch an amount of approximately Rs. 116 Crore. During the hearing the court also observed that homebuyers who have received favorable judgments from the consumer courts will be given preference. Also, previously an amount of Rs. 38 crore has already been disbursed among the home buyers seeking refund who had favorable judgments before NCDRC. The case will decide the fate of almost 16,299 flats still to be delivered by UNITECH, Rs 7,816 crores of funds belonging to Unitech’s customers and bank debt of Rs 6,000 crore.

In the case of AMRAPALI, the court has observed that their personal assets will be sold first in order to raise an amount of RS.5,112 crore which will be put to use for completion of housing projects in Noida and Greater Noida affecting more than 43,000 homebuyers. The group had furnished a detail list of almost 40 properties before the court which can be put up for auction but denying the same court said that auctioning them may be difficult as they may be encumbered  with dues and therefore they will begin with the personal assets of directors and promoters.  A multi-pronged approach has been adopted by the court which includes handling over construction of the unfinished projects to state owned National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), Sale of assets of company and its promoters and forensic audit to track the diversion of Rs.2700 crore collected from home buyers.

The step taken by the Apex Court is first of its kind and has come as set back to the defaulting real estate firms in the county. Such pro buyer steps taken by the Supreme Court will ensure justice for the aggrieved home buyers in the long run. The order also sets a precedent for the newly implemented RERA authorities across country to take all possible measure to ensure justice for the aggrieved homebuyers.

Disclaimer – Please note that the above articles is based on the interpretation of related laws and judicial pronouncement which may differ from person to person. The reader are expected to take the expert opinion on the matter.

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