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SC directs speedy auction of Unitech’s properties in UP, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

Next date of hearing fixed for July 16

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the committee it had set up in the Unitech case to speedily auction over 600 acres of unencumbered land properties of the embattled firm located in Agra, Varanasi, Bengaluru and Sriperumbudur near Chennai so that money is refunded to homebuyers.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, asked the panel to complete the process of auctioning the land properties of the firm at Agra within four weeks from today and conclude auctioning of the properties in Varanasi and Sriperumbudur within six weeks, lawyer Pawanshree Agarwal told Moneycontrol.

The apex court had earlier set up a three-member panel led by former Delhi High Court judge, S N Dhingra.

The bench also directed Unitech Ltd to submit a list of all properties of the company, its subsidiaries and personal properties of all directors on July 9.

When senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the firm, said it wanted to sell the properties at Bengaluru, the court directed the buyer of the property to show its bonafide and asked the Justice Dhingra panel to undertake the exercise of valuation of the properties within 10 days, Agarwal said.

The bench asked Agarwal, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, and the counsel for the real estate firm to "sit together" for verification of the homebuyers and their actual claims for refund.

The bench also turned down the promoter’s request for custody parole. No order on the submission that Sanjay Chandra, MD of the firm, and his brother Ajay Chandra, who are both in jail, be allowed to come out so that funds to refund buyers can be arranged, was passed.

The bench posted the bail plea of Chandra for further hearing on July 16.

At the April hearing, the Supreme Court had taken note of all the unencumbered assets of real estate major Unitech Ltd and ordered that a public notice be issued inviting objections for auctioning them to realise the dues of the hassled homebuyers.

The apex court had on October 30 last year said its MD Sanjay Chandra would be granted bail only after the real estate group deposited money with its registry by December-end.

The top court had also directed jail authorities to facilitate Chandra's meeting with his company officials and lawyers so that he could arrange money to refund the homebuyers as well as complete the ongoing housing projects.

Chandra is seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on August 11 last year had rejected the plea in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 homebuyers of Unitech projects — 'Wild Flower Country' and 'Anthea Project' — situated in Gurugram in Haryana.
First Published on Jul 5, 2018 09:41 pm
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