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Return Money To Homebuyers By Jan 17 Or Face Jail : Supreme Court Warns Supertech Directors

Mehal Jain
12 Jan 2022 9:47 AM GMT
Return Money To Homebuyers By Jan 17 Or Face Jail : Supreme Court Warns Supertech Directors
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up real-estate giant Supertech for failure to reimburse home-buyers of flats in the 40-storey twin towers in Noida, the demolition of which was directed by the Court in August last year.The bench headed by Justices D. Y. Chandrachud was hearing contempt pleas by the home-buyers, alleging that while, on the one hand, Supertech invited them to collect...

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up real-estate giant Supertech for failure to reimburse home-buyers of flats in the 40-storey twin towers in Noida, the demolition of which was directed by the Court in August last year.

The bench headed by Justices D. Y. Chandrachud was hearing contempt pleas by the home-buyers, alleging that while, on the one hand, Supertech invited them to collect their money, on the other, when they approached the company, they were told that the money would be paid back in installments together with certain deductions which were not indicated by the Court.
"We will send your directors to jail now! They are playing truant with the Supreme Court!...Interest cannot be charged on Return of Investment! You are looking for all sorts of reasons to not comply with the order of the court. Ensure that the payments are made by Monday, else there would be consequences!", Justice Chandrachud told the Advocate appearing for Supertech.
The Court also asked Noida Authority to finalise the agency to be entrusted with the task of demolition of the twin towers in the Noida Emerald Court housing project. It directed the authority to respond on January 17.
The Supreme Court had on August 31, 2021 upheld an order passed by the Allahabad High Court directing the demolition of twin 40 storey towers in the Emerald Court project of Supertech Ltd in Noida for violation of building norms.
The Court had directed that the work of demolition should be carried out by the appellant Supertech within a period of three months at its own cost under the supervision of NOIDA officials. The demolition shall be overlooked by the Central Building Research Institute(CBRI) to ensure safe demolition.

The work of demolition shall be carried out by Supertech at its own cost under the supervision of the officials of NOIDA. In order to ensure that the work of demolition is carried out in a safe manner without affecting the existing pleadings, NOIDA shall consult its own experts and experts from Central Building Research Institute Roorkee.

The work of demolition shall be carried out under the overall supervision of CBRI. In the event that CBRI expresses its inability to do so, another expert agency shall be nominated by NOIDA. The cost of demolition and all incidental expenses including the fees payable to the experts shall be borne by the appellant(Supertech).

Supertech should within a period of two months refund to all existing flat purchasers in Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T -17), other than those to whom refunds have already been made, all the amounts invested for the allotted flats together with interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum payable with effect from the date of the respective deposits until the date of refund in terms of the judgment.

The Court also directed the builder to pay a cost of Rupees 2 crores to the Resident Welfare Association.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that there was collusion between NOIDA officers and the builders in facilitating the construction in violation of norms and the complicity of the NOIDA authorities was "writ large" in the present case.

"The record of the case is replete with instances which shows collusion of Noida authority with the builder...Collusion is writ large in the case. High Court has correctly observed this collusion aspect", Justice Chandrachud read out the excerpts from the judgment.

"Illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly", the bench observed in the judgment. The judgment also has observations regarding the need to preserve environment amid the rising needs for urban housing.

"The protection of environment and well being of the people who occupy this has to be balanced with the need of increasing demand for urban housing", the bench stated.

The Supreme Court observed that the consent of the individual flat owners was necessary under the UP Apartment Act before the twin towers was constructed as the common area was reduced by adding new flats. However, with the collusion of authorities, the construction of twin towers was done illegally.

"The illegal construction of T-16 and T-17 has been achieved through acts of collusion between the officers of NOIDA and the appellant and its management", the Court said. Full copy of the judgment is awaited.

The Supreme Court also confirmed the High Court's direction to the competent authority under to grant sanction to prosecute the NOIDA officials who acted in collusion.

"..we confirm the directions of the High Court including the order of demolition and for sanctioning prosecution under Section 49 of the UPUD Act, as incorporated by Section 12 of the UPIAD Act 1976, against the officials of the appellant and the officers of NOIDA for violations of the UPIAD Act 1976 and UP Apartments Act 2010", the Court ordered.

 Case Title: Supertech Ltd. v. Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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