In A First, Couple Moves NCLT Against Lotus Panache Builder
At a time when buyers who invested in various projects of Amrapali and Jaypee Infratech are making every effort to stop the insolvency proceeding against the two developers, a couple, who bought a flat in a project by Granite Grate Properties, the developers of Lotus Panache project in Noida, is taking an entirely different approach.
This couple, who booked a flat in the project in 2010, has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against 3C Company, part of the Granite Grate Properties. According to their submission, they paid 90 per cent of the unit cost by 2015, and asked for refund from the company earlier this year. Since no refund was given, the couple decided to move the NCLT.
This is the third big realtor in the national capital region after Jaypee and Amrapali against which the NCLT has accepted an insolvency petition. However, unlike 3C Company where the buyers have moved the NCLT, it is the banks which have moved an insolvency petition in above-mentioned cases.
Through a plea filed on July 27, which has been heard by the NCLT one time and which would be taken up by the tribunal for hearing on August 28 next, the buyers are seeking liquidation of all projects. The NCLT has already sent a notice to the company asking it to respond.
Their move ─ the first such after homebuyers were awarded the status of “financial creditors” in insolvency proceedings through a change in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, on June 6 ─ would affect as many as 10 projects of the company apart from 10,000 homebuyers. Other buyers who are more interested in getting possession of their units than refund might oppose the move since it would only further prolong their wait for a home.
“The move by the two petitioners was not made with buyers’ consensus. We will have to see how the court is protecting the buyers’ interest, else we will move a higher court,” a Lotus Panache Welfare Association member was quoted in Hindustan Times as saying.
“We may challenge the NCLT judgment in the Supreme Court should a liquidation order come through because the construction of the apartments is now 80 per cent complete,” said the secretary of Lotus Panache Welfare Association.
Things of the past
In January this year, 4,000 homebuyers launched a Twitter campaign — #4000HomelessFamilies — to protest the delay in delivery of homes by 3C. These buyers who invested their money in the Sector 110 project, Lotus Panache, between 2009 and 2010, were promised delivery of their homes in 2012.
The project has 30 towers in total. While nine of the towers have already been built and a thousand units have been handed over, 4,000 investors are awaiting delivery while no construction process is in sight for the pending work.
Before the launch of this campaign, buyers had also demonstrated outside the house of one of the company directors. While about 100 buyers repeating the action in April again, they also spoke of forming a human chain near the Prime Minister’s Office to make their protest.
“We have organised protests in front of the houses of each of the three directors of the company. We have also filed an FIR earlier this year under Section 420 and 406. We have met the builders several times and have been told that fund was being organised,” Association General-Secretary Sushil Kumar was quoted in the media as saying.