SC Asks Jaiprakash Associates To Give Details Of All Ongoing Housing Projects
The Supreme Court (SC) on January 10 directed real estate developer Jaiprakash Associate Limited (JAL) to give details of its ongoing housing projects in the entire country while reiterating its direction that its directors should not alienate their personal properties. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also directed amicus curie Pawan Shree Agrawal to set up a portal to take note of the grievances of the homebuyers.
The Bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said it would decide at a later stage the application of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), seeking its nod to file insolvency proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the promoter company JAL. The Bench also considered the submission of senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, representing independent directors of JAL, that they be exempted from personal appearance before it on every date of hearing on account of their old age.
The Bench, which exempted the independent directors from personal appearance, however, reiterated its earlier direction that neither they would leave the country without its prior nod nor alienate or create third-party interests in their personal properties. It said the interest of homebuyers was important, and the company would have to deposit the money in pursuance of its earlier order.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and lawyer Anupam Lal Das, appearing for JAL, said they had sold several properties and were in the midst of loan restructuring. They said JAL would be depositing Rs 125 crore more by January 25, as directed by the apex court on December 15 last year, to safeguard the interests of hassled homebuyers. JAL has deposited Rs 425 crore with the apex court registry so far.
Earlier, the top court had restrained 13 directors ─ five promoters and eight independent directors – from alienating their personal properties as well as that of their immediate family members. The apex court's direction that the directors should not alienate their or their family members' personal properties in any manner implies freezing of their assets.
The apex court, on November 13 last year, had also restrained the managing director and the directors of Jaypee Infratech from travelling abroad without prior permission. The court had asked Jaypee Infratech to hand over the records to the interim resolution professional (IRP) to draft a resolution plan indicating protection of interests of over 32,000 hassled homebuyers and creditors.
It also stayed any proceedings instituted against Jaypee Infratech for any purpose in any forum such as the consumer commission, as the IRP has been given control of the company's management.
Homebuyers, including one Chitra Sharma, had moved the apex court saying that around 32,000 people had booked their flats and are now paying installments.
The top court had on September 4 stayed insolvency proceedings against the real estate firm at National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
Flat buyers, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, did not fall in the category of secured creditors such as banks, and they hence can get back their money only if something was left after repaying the secured and operational creditors, Sharma said in her plea.
Hundreds of homebuyers have been left in the lurch after the NCLT on August 10 admitted the IDBI Bank's plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden realty company for defaulting on a Rs 526 crore loan, the plea said.
With inputs from Housing News