Homebuyer’s interest supreme, JAL must deposit money: SC

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.

File Photo of Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed realtor Jaiprakash Associate Limited (JAL), also known as Jaypee group, to give details of its ongoing housing projects in the entire country while reiterating its direction that its directors shall not alienate their personal properties.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also directed amicus curie Pawan Shree Agrawal to set up a portal to take note of the grievances of the home buyers of JAL.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said it would decide at a later stage the application of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking its nod to file insolvency proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the promoter company JAL.

It said the interest of homebuyers was important and the JAL will have to deposit the money in pursuance of its earlier order.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and lawyer Anupam Lal Das, appearing for JAL, said they have sold several properties and were in the midst of loan restructuring. They said JAL would be depositing Rs 125 crore more by January 25 as directed by the apex court.

JAL has deposited Rs 425 crore with the apex court registry so far.

The apex court, on November 13 last year, had also restrained the managing director and the directors of Jaypee Infratech Ltd from travelling abroad without prior permission.

The court had asked Jaypee Infratech to hand over the records to the interim resolution professional (IRP) to draft a resolution plan indicating protection of interests of over 32,000 hassled home buyers and creditors.

Homebuyers including one Chitra Sharma, through lawyer Ashwarya Sinha, had moved the apex court saying around 32,000 people had booked their flats and were now paying instalments.

The top court had on September 4, 2017, the stayed insolvency proceedings against the real estate firm before the NCLT.

Flat buyers, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, do not fall in the category of secured creditors like banks and hence can get back their money only if something is left after repaying the secured and operational creditors, Sharma, in her plea, said.

Hundreds of home buyers have been left in the lurch after the NCLT, on August 10, 2017, admitted the IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden realty company for defaulting on a Rs 526 crore loan, the plea said.

(With inputs from PTI)