At least 107 home buyers of the Emerald Court project are yet to be refunded as troubled real estate major Supertech runs out of cash, with the Supreme Court saying a way has to be found to pay them as per the court's orders.
Embattled real estate major Supertech Ltd on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it is in talk with the financial creditor Union Bank of India to resolve the dispute over the payment of dues. The top court was informed by amicus curiae Gaurav Agarwal that the company Supertech Ltd does not have sufficient amount in its account to make the refund to home buyers of the to-be razed twin towers in the Emerald Court project.
Recommended ArticlesView All
Maruti Suzuki defends offering discounts after Nomura calls it a 'sign of weakness'
IST3 Min(s) Read
India's cotton exports to shrink close to 30 percent in FY23
IST3 Min(s) Read
A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant told Agarwal that a way out has to be found to pay the home buyers of the twin towers as per the orders of the court. Agarwal said that he has filed a report in a sealed cover, as per the direction of the court, in which a separate list of 107 home buyers of the twin towers who are yet to be refunded is given.
The interim resolution professional (IRP) has stated in the report that there aren't enough funds in the accounts of the company to pay to the home buyers of the twin towers, he said. The amicus further said he has been informed that the erstwhile management of the real estate firm has filed an appeal before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on March 25, 2022, and it is listed on May 17.
I have also been informed that erstwhile management is trying to settle the dispute with the financial creditor — Union Bank of India — on whose application the insolvency process has been initiated, he said. Agarwal added that if the issue with the financial creditor is resolved then the status of 107 home buyers out of over 711 will be back to what it was earlier before the start of the insolvency process.
Senior advocate S. Ganesh, appearing for the erstwhile management of Supertech Ltd, said they have held several rounds of meeting with the bank and more meetings are likely to take place to resolve the dispute over dues. We are hopeful that the issue will be resolved before the next date of hearing in the NCLAT, Ganesh said.
The Bench then posted the matter for further hearing on May 18. On April 4, the top court said it will protect the interest of home buyers of 40 storey twin-towers of Emerald Court project of real estate developer Supertech Ltd, which has been now declared bankrupt by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and directed them to file by April 15 their claims for refund of payments.
The realty firm had informed the top court that it will be filing an appeal against the order of the NCLT declaring it bankrupt on a plea filed by the Union Bank of India for non-payment of around Rs 432 crore worth of dues. The amicus had earlier said there was a total of 711 home buyers of the twin towers, out of which the company had settled the claim of 652 home buyers.
On February 28, the NOIDA authority informed the top court that the work for the demolition of Supertech's twin 40-storey towers in its Emerald Court project, which have been held illegal for a violation of norms, has commenced and will be razed completely. The authority in the status report said after the demolition of these massive structures, the entire debris will be cleared from the site by August 22.
The top court had asked all the stakeholders, including NOIDA and Supertech Ltd, to strictly abide by the timeline given in the status report and listed the matter for further hearing on May 17. On August 31 last year, the top court had ordered the demolition of Supertech Ltd's twin 40-storey towers under construction within three months for violation of building norms in "collusion with NOIDA officials,” holding that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.
The NOIDA authority had received a rap on its knuckles as the top court pointed out multiple incidents of collusion of its officials with Supertech Ltd in the Emerald Court project and violations of norms by the realty major in the construction of the twin towers.
The top court had directed that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 percent interest from the time of the booking and the RWA of Emerald Court project be paid Rs 2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers, which would have blocked sunlight and fresh air to the existing residents of the housing project adjoining the national capital.