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Unitech: Supreme Court Directs Web Portal To Be Kept Open For Further 4 Weeks To Facilitate Refunds To Homebuyers

Shruti Kakkar
18 May 2022 4:59 PM GMT
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To facilitate refunds for the homebuyers of Unitech, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the appointed amicus to open the Web Portal for a further period of 4 weeks which was earlier directed to be only opened till May 15, 2022.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah in their order said, "Portal may be kept open for a further period of 4 weeks to allow the home buyers to facilitate refund in terms of the order."

To alleviate the extreme hardships being faced by Senior Citizens and FD holders belonging in the category of 65-75 years, above 75 years and persons with urgent medical needs, the Supreme Court had earlier directed the appointed amicus in the Unitech matter to open the web portal until May 15, 2022.

To deal with applications for refund on grounds of medical emergency, the bench also directed to modify the web portal to permit any flat buyer who desires refund to scan and upload copies of relevant medical records. The bench also asked the amicus to open the web portal for the flat buyers who have not registered on the portal so far and the ones who were previously given an option of refund but now want to seek possession.

Supreme Court Asks New Board Of Management To Submit Report Prepared By EIL To Justice AM Sapre

During the course of hearing, the ASG N Venkataraman for the new management of Unitech also sought permission to commence the tendering process. He further submitted a chart indicating the cycle which indicated that by the next date of listing, the schedule for certain items would be confirmed.

He further apprised the court of the cost estimates prepared by the TMC's which were being vetted by Engineers India Limited ("EIL"), whose report was expected to be received by the end of May 2022.

Considering this, the bench directed the new management to place EIL's report before Justice AM Sapre who was appointed by the bench to assist the Board of Management of Unitech for the purpose of sale/monetization of the land assets.

It also requested the Judge to scrutinize all tender documents, before permitting the management including the financials having due regards to the report submitted by EIL.

"Justice AM Sapre shall be associated with every page of the process of tendering which will be carried out under its supervision. We clarify that the entrustment to Justice Sapre in the context of tender formalities shall be in connection with the earlier task regarding the land sale," the bench in their order further said.

The Top Court also asked to disburse an amount of Rs 20 lakh to Justice AM Sapre as an honorarium for the work that was assigned by the bench.

Furthermore, the Top Court also in the hearing the aspect wherein it had suggested the Department of Town and Country Planning, Haryana, Noida and Greater Noida and the Board of Management, Unitech to sit together and formulate on the issue regarding the applicability of National Building Code, 2016 on the Building Plans for the under construction projects.

The bench in their order noted that the planning authority and its officials had convened a meeting.

ASG had submitted that it would appear that there was broad consensus along the following lines:

  1. Where approvals have been granted by the planning authorities prior to enforcement of NBC 2016 & construction has reached irreversible stage would be governed by erstwhile and application for approval shall be processed by the authorities on that basis
  2. Any application for the grant of fresh construction permission shall be processed on the basis of prevailing law on the date of the application by the planning authority
  3. Wherever approvals have already been granted where construction has not reached irreversible stage, 2016 shall be adhered to
  4. Where deviations have been found from sanction plan, new board of management of unitech shall submit applications of compounding which shall be duly considered
  5. The existence provision for moratorium which is presently in force shall continue to remain in operation

ASG had also submitted that the new board of management shall commit itself to NBC 2016 to the extent that it is feasible to take into account the concerns which have been expressed by NOIDA & Greater NOIDA.

Senior Advocate Ravindra Kumar for NOIDA & Gr NOIDA stated that the formulation which has been placed may need to be nuanced to take into account the amendments due to upgradation of NBC 2005 to NBC 2016. He had further submitted that amendments will have to be taken up on item by item basis and the planning authority would consider the application of NBC 2005 & NBC 2016 as the case maybe.

Senior Advocate Anil grover for Haryana had submitted that the Haryana Rules of 2017 would be applicable. In terms of fire safety norms, it had been agreed during the course of meeting with ASG that these norms shall be followed.

Mr Ankur Kulkarni for Bangalore Development Authority had submitted that the consensus of ASG would be acceptable by the BDA.

The bench in their order noted that to obviate any controversy on the applicability of NBC 2005 & 2016 it has been agreed that a joint statement shall be prepared by Counsel for NOIDA & Greater NOIDA & ASG and asked the parties to carry the exercise within a period of 4 weeks.

Case Title: Bhupinder Singh v. Unitech Ltd. | Civil Appeal 10856/2016

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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