In a far-reaching judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group
under the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) 2016 and land leases in the National Capital Region for cheating lakhs of home buyers. The real estate business in India has developed, survived mainly on homebuyers’ money, which cannot be allowed to be siphoned off by builders, said a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit.
The top court also blamed the officials of Noida and Greater Noida authorities for failing in their duties. The SC asked the Centre and states to take 'similar action' against developers who have failed to deliver projects across the country.
The top court delivered its judgement on a batch of pleas filed by the home buyers of Amrapali Group seeking possession of around 42,000 flats booked in various projects of the realtor in Noida and Greater Noida.
The court directed the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) to complete all the pending projects and hand over the possession to the homebuyers and not to recover the additional amount from the homebuyers while completing the projects.
The SC directed the home buyers to deposit the outstanding amount under the agreement entered with the promoters within three months from today in the account opened in UCO Bank. "The amount deposited by them shall be invested in the fixed deposit to be disbursed under the order of this court on phase-wise completion of the projects/work by the NBCC," the bench said.
The court also restrained the banks and government authorities from taking punitive action in connection with recovering "non-payment of dues of the Noida, Greater Noida authorities and the banks cannot come in the way of occupation of flats by homebuyers," observed the court.
The amount, due on the part of homebuyers, has to be deposited in the account which has been opened in UCO Bank by the court. It has to be utilised for the purpose of completion of the buildings and for providing other facilities.
The home buyers have paid the dues of Noida and Greater Noida authorities as a component of the price for flats, said the court. Thus, the premium and other dues payable to authorities and banks cannot be recovered from the home buyers or the projects in question. The dues as may be ordered shall be recovered by the sale of other properties which have been created by the diversion of funds and have been attached by the court.
The authorities "cannot sell the buildings or demolish them nor can enforce the charge against homebuyers/leased land/projects in the facts of the case. Similarly, the banks cannot recover money from projects as it has not been invested in projects," the court said. "Homebuyers' money has been diverted fraudulently, thus, fraud cannot be perpetuated against them by selling the flats and depriving them of hard-earned money and savings of entire life."
Registered conveyance shall also be executed in favour of homebuyers, they are to be placed in the possession and they shall continue to do so in future on completion of projects or in part as the case may be. The Water Works Department of the concerned area and the Electricity Supplier are directed to provide the connections for water and electricity to home buyers forthwith.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
First Published: Jul 24, 2019 12:35 PM IST