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SC to Amrapali Group: Submit detailed business plan for six projects

Next date of hearing fixed for April 25

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the embattled real estate developer Amrapali Group to submit a detailed business plan in relation to six projects – three where construction is complete and three where substantial work has been done. The next date of hearing has been fixed for April 25.

The realtor was also ordered to submit a proposal for the auction of its lands to pay off dues to authorities and other lenders and a third proposal to shift people from category C projects where work had not yet taken off, sources present at the hearing said.

Ranjit Kumar, the lawyer representing the real estate company, presented the chart or schedule of construction for projects and said that if they were allowed to finish the projects as per schedule with buyers’ receivables, they will be able to deliver on time.

He also claimed that there was enough unsold inventory and if the Supreme Court allowed the co-developer to step in, the projects would take off again to which Justice UU Lalit said that the chart did not clarify how the group would get the money as the court would not want the buyers to pay up immediately. The apex court made it clear that it would want the buyers to make payment through the court and not to the builder directly, said legal sources present at the hearing.

“Give a concrete proposal, divide projects in three categories A and B. Prove your bonafide by taking up three projects in each of these categories, complete the work and take the money from the court,” the bench said.

The developer was also asked to submit a proposal on how it intends paying Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and the banks.

Justice Lalit also asked the realtor to submit a proposal on the land that can be  auctioned to pay off all the lenders, including authorities and banks, creditors and also give a details of all the financiers and creditors so that "an order can be passed keeping that in mind,” says Advocate Kumar Mihir, representing the homebuyers.

The intention of the court is to first see from where the developer raises its finances and how it plans to complete the projects. The court intends to test their commitment to finish projects within the stated timeline and ensure that it meets those deadlines, says Shwetabh Sinha, advocate, who was present at the hearing.

When Noida Authority raised its objections with regard to their dues, it was rebuffed by the court that said it had no right to object to the dues because it too was in “hand in glove with the realtor,” he says.

Last week, the Supreme Court had asked real estate major Amrapali Group to provide details of the money it had collected from the homebuyers and how much it had invested in its housing projects. It had wanted to know from the builder details of the outstanding amount which was to be paid by the homebuyers to it and how much more fund was required to complete the projects.

The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit observed that "Few facts are still missing. How much money remains to be paid project-wise? Please give a chart. How much money has been invested in projects, how much was collected, how much money is required."

It had asked Amrapali to prepare a chart dividing project into A, B and C categories. Category A projects where people are currently residing, category B where projects are in advance stage of construction and category C where projects are in a nascent stage of construction. Court has asked the realtor to submit a proposal for shifting home buyers from projects where no work has started.

Last week it had also asked the group to submit a proposal on the total amount it owes development authorities and other lenders.

At the last hearing on March 27, the Supreme Court had directed Amrapali Group to convene a joint meeting with Noida and Greater Noida Authority representatives, homebuyers, legal counsels and lenders on March 31 and submit its report on the status of projects and the amount required to complete them by April 6. The real estate developer, Noida Authority and Greater Noida Authority have submitted their respective reports in court. Homebuyers had pointed to discrepancies in the report

Last year, Bank of Baroda had filed an insolvency petition before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after Amrapali had failed to repay a loan of Rs 56 crore. The move caused panic among homebuyers as, according to them, their investment would not be protected under the insolvency and bankruptcy code as the NCLT would give preference to banks before buyers.

In September 2017, a group of homebuyers from Noida filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking protection of their investment. In January, buyers in five other stuck housing projects in Greater Noida also filed similar pleas. The apex court clubbed all the pleas and began the hearing.
First Published on Apr 17, 2018 06:34 pm
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