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SC directs Amrapali Group to deposit Rs 250 crore to restart work on pending projects

Homebuyers and Amrapali Group had agreed upon a joint proposal under which pending projects were divided into four baskets.

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Amrapali Group to deposit Rs 250 crore in an escrow account to ensure all pending projects are completed. It also accepted the timeline agreed upon between homebuyers and the embattled realty firm and permitted co-developers to complete all pending projects except Silicon City. The next date of hearing has been set for July 18.

Homebuyers and Amrapali Group had agreed upon a joint proposal under which pending projects were divided into four baskets. Out of the total, 26 projects in the A and B category were to be given to the co-developer which need to be completed within agreed timelines.

The apex court also directed the company not to collect any money from homebuyers until possession of the house is given to them. Money will be released only after the committee formed to oversee completion of the projects certifies that construction has been completed as per the specifications promised to buyers, sources present at the hearing said.

“Amrapali Group and co-developers will not charge anything from buyers till the time the offer of possession is handed over. Once the offer of possession is handed over to buyers, they will be given three months to deposit the amount due to them in an escrow account,” said Kumar Mihir, advocate representing homebuyers.

Sources further said that the group has been asked deposit Rs 250 crore in the escrow account by June 15 to ensure that pending projects can be restarted by the co-developer.

It directed that a committee be formed of representatives of buyers and the promoter to monitor the progress of the projects. The committee will include two chartered accountants one to be appointed by the promoter and the other by buyers; two chartered engineer; two representatives of home buyers; one representative from Noida Authority and senior advocate ML Lahoty.

For buyers of projects falling in category C where no work has begun, the promoter will have to make arrangements for swapping their apartments to projects of category A and B. Unsold inventory can be sold in the free market only after the swapping process is complete. Buyers interested in swapping their apartments will have to place the request directly to the promoter. However, they can send grievances directly to the committee, sources said.

For buyers, who are not in a position to continue with their allotments and want to seek a refund, the promoter has been directed to file a proposal before the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, realty major Galaxy Group that received the go ahead from the SC to construct eight stalled projects by Amrapali Group, said that it will invest approximately Rs 2,500 crore in the next four years to revive and construct eight pending residential projects.

Out of the eight projects, five projects are located in Noida, which include Sapphire (Phase I & II), Heartbeat City, Eden Park, Zodiac and Platinum. The remaining three projects are from Greater Noida West region -- Leisure Valley, Leisure Park and Dream Valley.

Pradeep Kumar Agrawalla, chairman, Galaxy Group of Companies said, “We are grateful that the Honourable Supreme Court has passed this verdict which will bring along trust and credibility in the real estate market of Noida. Real estate is a very sentiment driven sector and the trust factor plays a big role in its sustainability throughout. With this move, we hope that the sector, which is already on its revival path through the reforms of RERA and GST, will improve further and we will witness customers returning back in large numbers.”

In an affidavit submitted by Amrapali in the SC, the firm has proposed to complete a total of 26 incomplete projects in four baskets. The total proposed cost to complete the projects is estimated at Rs 5,112 crore.

These projects are intended to be completed through co-developers Galaxy Group, IIFL-Viridian consortium and Kanodia Cement.
First Published on May 17, 2018 10:41 pm
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