The Supreme Court on September 3 asked the government’s construction arm NBCC to respond in two days if it was willing to submit a revised proposal to take over Jaypee Group’s incomplete housing projects.
A bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari issued a notice to the National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited even as the Centre told the court it would waive taxes, running into crores, due to Jaypee Infratech, if NBCC was to take over the embattled real-estate firm.
The bench also extended to September 5, the next date of hearing, the hold on the bidding process for the stalled projects. So far, there have been two rounds of bidding.
Additional solicitor general Madhavi Divan said the government has had three meetings with the stakeholders. The Centre was willing to give tax concession to Jaypee Group and enhance farmers’ compensation, provided NBCC was allowed to complete the projects, Divan said.
Jaypee Group told the court that it should also be given a chance to revive Jaypee Infratech and was willing to pay back its banks. It also promised to complete all the 27 projects within three years.
The court, however, said it would first look at what NBCC had to offer and may then look at Jaypee’s fresh proposal.
On August 22, the court had ordered status quo for a week on the insolvency proceeding after the Jaypee Group challenged an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that allowed fresh bidding for Jaypee Infratech. The NCLAT had barred the parent company, Jaypee Associates, from bidding.
NBCC participated in the second round of bidding for the stalled projects. It proposed infusion of Rs 200 crore as equity and transfer of 950 acres of land worth Rs 5,000 crore to the banks towards settling claims of Rs 23,723 crore. It also promised to complete all the 24,000 units by July 2023.
But, the offer came with several conditions, including a demand to extinguish an estimated tax liability of Rs 33,000 crore over a period of 30 years arising out of the transfer of land parcels from Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority to Jaypee Group and seeking permission from YEIDA for a business transfer. NBCC’s bid was rejected due to these “rigid conditions” by the committee of creditors.
A group of homebuyers moved the apex court in 2017, saying around 23,000 people had booked flats and were paying instalments, but their homes were not ready.