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SC directs Amrapali group-homebuyers to hold joint meeting to arrive at consensus

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(G.N.S) Dt. 15

New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed embattled real estate firm Amrapali Group and homebuyers to hold a joint meeting on March 17 at the Supreme Court consultation room to thrash out a joint statement. The matter has been fixed for further hearing on March 27.

The two-member bench headed by Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit directed that a meeting between the two parties be held this Saturday wherein representatives of homebuyers and the builder be present. During the meeting a report of all Amrapali projects, their construction status will be discussed and deliberated. Only after that will the apex court take a decision regarding construction timelines of projects, said advocate Kumar Mihir, representing the homebuyers.

In the last hearing held on February 22, the SC had ordered the developer to submit an undertaking in court that they will comply with the order to complete construction of projects on March 7. The developer has filed an undertaking in the apex court that if it were unable to construct, it was ready to face the consequences, legal sources told Moneycontrol.

“Let the representatives of homebuyers and the developer hold a meeting among themselves at 11 am on Saturday. Amrapali has been asked to capture on video the status of all its projects to indicate their exact status following which the court has suggested that the two parties hold a meeting project wise to thrash out a joint statement. The matter would then be taken up on March 27 at 2 pm,” the court said, according to Mihir.

The court would then pass orders on each of the project, suggesting the timeframe within which each one would have to be completed, he said.

The court also dismissed a petition filed by Aditya Birla group saying priority is homebuyers and their homes.

Aditya Birla Group had filed an application seeking a clarification with respect to its petition in NCLT. The group is a financial creditor for Amrapali Smart City, which is the developer for Golf Homes. They had filed an insolvency petition in NCLT.

The court said that the group should not insist on the proceedings now as its priority  was to hand over constructed flats to homebuyers, said Mihir.

All cases were 21 writ petitions were heard on Thursday at the 15 minute hearing.

“The court also clarified that they are not looking at the refund option right now. It’s priority is to concentrate on completion of flats for homebuyers that are nearing completion,” said Shwetabh Sinha, advocate.

The Supreme Court on February 22 had directed embattled real estate firm Amrapali Group to complete the towers of Leisure Valley project which are nearing completion and ordered that the firm submit a status report within a month’s time.

It had said that it was concerned only about homebuyers’ interest and their money. “The primary objective is to make sure that homebuyers get their home at the earliest,” legal sources present at the hearing said.

It has also asked the developer to furnish details of the amount pending from the buyers’ side. The apex court also told the counsel representing the bank that ‘buyers’ money is not builder’s money and it cannot take buyers’ money that does not belong to the builder.

The company, which is facing insolvency proceedings initiated by the creditor bank for not repaying the loan, said in an affidavit in the apex court earlier that it was not in a position to complete the projects and hand over possession of flats to over 42,000 home-buyers in a time-bound manner and the properties were needed to be developed with the help of co-developers.

It claimed that many firms have expressed interest in taking over and completing these housing projects.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in September last year ordered initiation of insolvency proceedings against Amrapali Silicon City, on a plea by Bank of Baroda. The builder had defaulted on an outstanding loan of Rs 56 crore taken from the bank.

NCLT appointed Rajesh Samson of Deloitte Touche Tohmastu India LLP as the interim resolution professional (IRP) in the case of Amrapali Silicon City Pvt Ltd.

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