Centre to SC: working on a proposal to address homebuyers concerns

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 12, 2019 10:55 hrs
SC

New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it is in the process of formulating a proposal specifically to address the grievances of homebuyers, who are waiting for the possession of their respective flats after the big realtors failed to deliver them.

The apex court said it has enough powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to safeguard the interest of homebuyers in the Jaypee infratech case. The court asked all the parties to try reaching a common ground before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari deferred the hearing for July 18, a day after the NCLAT will hear the matter.

Additional Solicitor General Madhvi Diwan, representing Centre, told the court it would be better to schedule the case after NCLAT's decision on the matter, as the Centre is working on a proposal to address issues faced by the homebuyers.

The Centre will submit this proposal in the pending Unitech homebuyers case by July 23.

The counsel representing homebuyers' expressed concern that Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) going into the liquidation could deliver a blow to their hopes. The bench replied even if NCLAT sends the company for liquidation, the apex court has power to protect interest of the people.

The counsel of homebuyers' cited Unitech homebuyers case wherein government indicated taking over the stalled projects. It sought a similar relief in Jaypee's case. The bench replied that a proposal on this could be brought before the NCLAT.

The apex court on Tuesday asked the Central government to come up with a solution to protect the interests of homebuyers.

The court made the recommendation while hearing a plea filed by homebuyers in the Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL).

The petitioner sought a direction to the government not to allow the liquidation of the company as it would be against the interests of thousands of homebuyers.

The bench observed that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was inadequate to protect homebuyers' interests.

It observed that the court had in similar matters asked the government to step in and come up with a proposal.

Earlier, in a separate matter, the Supreme Court asked the government to examine a proposal to resume construction on stalled housing projects of real estate major Unitech Ltd within 10 days to protect the interests of homebuyers.

In the Jaypee Infratech matter, Chitra Sharma''s advocate Ashwarya Sinha also urged the top court to order a complete forensic audit of JIL since its incorporation to ascertain how the company has spent funds meant for the housing projects.

The petition has been moved at a time when the JIL is facing insolvency proceedings because of the huge debts it owed to banks.

The petitioner apprehended that if JIL goes into liquidation, then thousands of homebuyers would be left in the lurch without any remedy.

The application cited the apex court judgement passed in August 2018 stating that liquidation of JIL will not help homebuyers, more than 20,000 of whom have invested their life savings.

The application alleged that the real estate company had diverted the funds to other projects on a larger scale than Amrapali Group of Companies, which is also involved in a legal battle with homebuyers.