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| Source: Moneycontrol.com

Unitech seeks more time to deposit Rs 750 crore with SC

Next date of hearing set for January 29

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

Embattled real estate firm Unitech on Friday sought more time to deposit Rs 750 crore in the Supreme Court but offered to deposit Rs 18 crore by next week. The Supreme Court will hear the matter on January 29.

While Unitech submitted a refund plan to the Supreme Court saying it needed more time to deposit the money, lawyers representing homebuyers also moved an application that stated that over Rs 1000 crore could be recovered by selling land in the Unitech Golf and Country Club project located in Noida.

“The SC has directed Unitech to deposit Rs 18 crore by next working day and listed the matter for January 29. In the meantime Unitech has to work out a plan to deposit the remaining amount,” said Varun Chopra, a lawyer present at the hearing.

“The case is adjourned and it will be heard on January 29. An extension was sought by the company as they were not able to manage Rs 750 crore.  They weew unable to sell unencumbered properties to gather Rs 750 crore,” says Advocate M L Lahoty who appeared for homebuyers in the case.

Lahoty said that his firm had moved an application that stated that over Rs 1000 crore could be taken care from the Unitech Golf and Country Club project in Sector 96 Noida itself. “Not more than 69 acres are required to complete the UGCC project. The amount received from the remaining land parcel can be utilised to pay Rs 3000 crore to Noida Authority, Rs 200 crore to LIC and the rest to homebuyers,” he said.

Last month, the court stayed the December 8 order of the National Company Law Tribunal allowing the Centre to take over the management of embattled realty firm Unitech Ltd. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), on December 8, had suspended all the eight directors of the realty firm over allegations of mismanagement and siphoning of funds and had authorised the Centre to appoint its 10 nominees on the board. In its petition filed under section 241 of the Companies Act, 2013, the government had requested the tribunal to remove the eight directors and said that the company has over Rs 6,000 crore debt and over 16,000 undelivered units from a total of nearly 70 projects.

The NCLT, in its order, had also said the government must give name of its nominees by December 20 and restrained Unitech's eight suspended directors from selling their personal and company properties.

On December 12 Supreme Court expressed serious apprehension about the manner in which the Centre moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to take control of embattled real estate firm Unitech Ltd’s board without seeking its permission

Attorney General KK Venugopal conceded that “this should not happened. The government should not have approached NCLT when Supreme Court was seized of the matter relating to Unitech’s failure to refund homebuyers,” said a lawyer present at the hearing on Wednesday.

The stay of NCLT’s order on December 9 had meant that Unitech’s promoter Sanjay Chandra, who is currently in jail, could resume negotiations from prison for sale of assets to generate Rs 750 crore that he had been asked to deposit in court by December end.

The apex court had on October 30 said jailed businessman Chandra will be granted bail only after the real estate group deposited money with its registry by December end. The top court had earlier directed the jail authorities to facilitate Chandra's meeting with his company officials and lawyers so that he could arrange money to refund the home buyers as well as for completing the ongoing housing projects.
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