Moneycontrol
| Source: Moneycontrol.com

SC comes down hard on JP Associates for missing four deadlines to deposit Rs 2000 crore

All non-institutional directors of JAL ordered to be present at the next hearing on November 22 and disclose their personal assets

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

Coming down heavily on Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) for missing the fourth deadline to deposit Rs 2000 crore towards refunding homebuyers, the Supreme Court today ordered that all non-institutional directors of the parent company be present before the apex court on the next date of hearing on November 22 and also directed the amicus curiae to set up a portal for homebuyers.

The SC directed all non-institutional directors of the parent company be present at the next hearing and present their affidavits disclosing their personal assets, lawyers present at the hearing said.

The court-appointed amicus curiae Pawan Shree to create a website for home buyers to enter their claims. “I have been asked to create a portal for homebuyers to help them give their details and register their claims,” he says.

In a brief hearing, the focus was on the failure of JAL to deposit Rs 2000 crore with the Supreme Court. JAL mentioned that they have Rs 593 crore lying in an account with ICICI Bank. JAL also mentioned that they have a cheque of Rs  100 crore in a sealed envelope for depositing with the Supreme Court.

JAL mentioned that they can deposit Rs 693 Crore today itself, however, they require an order from the Supreme Court asking ICICI Bank to release Rs 593 crore. But ICICI Bank opposed the above on the ground that the Rs 593 crore lying in that bank account is not free floating money, and has been deposited in that bank account specifically for the benefit of the lenders of JAL. Considering ICICI Bank’s objection, the Supreme Court did not allow JAL to withdraw the Rs  593 crore from ICICI Bank, lawyers present at the hearing said.

The committee of creditors met on Friday to discuss the expressions of interest from the prospective bidders. Steel, energy and cement conglomerate JSW Group, metals and commodities giant Vedanta, the Mumbai-based Lodha Group and Deutsche Bank are among the 18 companies that have shown interest in buying Jaypee Infratech. Among other parties who have expressed interest include Essel Highways, Lodha Group, L&T, Cube Highways from Singapore, Kotak Infra, SARE Group, Deutsche Bank, Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited, Suraksha Realty, Tata Realty.

The resolution professional is likely to split the project into three parcels with the 27 real estate projects being one block, the expressway being the second and the hospital being the third.

It has been reported that over 600 buyers from the 16 towers of the project in Noida's Sector 129 have come together under the umbrella of Kasa Isles Welfare Association and submitted their proposal to the resolution professional appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal.

On November 6, the Supreme Court had directed JAL to keep Rs 2,000 crore ready before the next hearing that was today. The court refused to permit a part deposit of Rs 400 crore offered by the company every month from January 2018.

Last month, the top court had refused permission to embattled Jaypee to hive-off the rights of multi-crore six-lane Yamuna Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

The top court had on September 11 directed Jaypee Associates to take prior approval of the court if it wished to sell any asset or property to raise funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore to be deposited by it in the apex court registry by October 27 to pay off the troubled home buyers.

The Supreme Court while hearing a plea of home buyers of Jaypee's Wish Town project at Noida in Uttar Pradesh challenging the insolvency proceedings initiated against Jaypee Infratech, had restricted the directors of the firm from leaving the country.

The top court had revived insolvency proceedings against Jaypee Infratech Ltd and given its management control to the IRP (insolvency Resolution Professional), appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal with immediate effect.

Debt-laden Jaypee Infratech defaulted on a Rs 526.11 crore loan to IDBI.The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had admitted the application by IDBI Bank-led consortium seeking resolution of the embattled company under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code.

vandana.ramnani@nw18.com
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