All 15 prime residential properties of the crisis-hit Amrapali Group may be seized and transferred "lock, stock and barrel" to Noida and Greater Noida Authorities as the company has failed to fulfil its obligations towards thousands of hassled home-buyers, the Supreme Court warned on Wednesday.
Saying that it would protect the rights of the home-buyers and push the Amrapali Group out of the projects, the court added the Noida and Greater Noida authorities can be asked to engage any builder or developer to finish the stalled projects and sell the properties under their supervision.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by more than 40,000 home buyers against the Amrapali Group which has defaulted in delivering their flats.
"We see that entire Amrapali Group has failed to discharge its duties towards home buyers, authorities (Noida and Greater Noida) and banks. You (Amrapali Group) have neither completed any projects nor invested any money in the projects. We think, you are the one who should be thrown out of these properties. We will vest the rights of these properties with the Noida and Greater Noida," said a bench of justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit.
"We may throw you out from these properties and transfer its lock, stock and barrel to Noida and Greater Noida. The loans which have been secured by Amrapali Group by mortgaging the lands to the banks can be collected by the financial institutions from the directors of the company or the corporate guarantors," it said.
The court added it will ensure that banks do not enter the premises of these properties and home buyers get the first charge on the properties.
It said that Amrapali Group by its own admission took Rs 11,652 crore from home buyers and invested only Rs 10,630 crore from it for construction of the residential projects.
The court also questioned how Amrapali Group could mortgage the entire projects and secure loan worth thousands of crores of rupees from banks when it was only an agent to develop the property.
Thousands of homebuyers are have sued Amrapali for taking their money and not delivering apartments as promised in a case emblematic of a crisis faced by many in India. Last month, former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a former celebrity ambassador for the builder, also moved top court against it. Demanding that the company give him a penthouse as promised, he requested to be included in the list of the company's creditors.
(With inputs from PTI)