This Article is From Jul 18, 2022

"You'll Be In The Queue": Supreme Court Tells Amrapali Groups To First Give Buyers Their Homes

The Supreme Court said it would consider the claims of authorities like NOIDA and Greater NOIDA and then it would consider the claims of institutions like electricity board.

'You'll Be In The Queue': Supreme Court Tells Amrapali Groups To First Give Buyers Their Homes

The Supreme Court bench said it would take the rest of the matter on June 25.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court Monday clarified that its priority is that hassled home buyers of Amrapali Group of companies get their homes and thereafter at the end it will consider the claims of money lenders of the real estate group, who have given financial assistance before 2019.

A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi indicated the sequence of priority to be considered by the court and said that at first, it would endeavour that every Amrapali Group home buyers get their homes and then their claim as the case may be.

It said thereafter it would consider the claims of authorities like NOIDA and Greater Noida and then it would consider the claims of other statutory bodies/institutions like the electricity board or drinking water departments.

"You will have to be in the queue and only after the claims of all these bodies are settled, we will certainly look into your claims", the bench told a counsel for the electricity department of the UP government.

The counsel for the electricity department submitted that they have an arrear of Rs 9 crore from the Amrapali Group of Companies and it needs to be settled.

The bench said that dues of the electricity department are clear since court receiver senior advocate R Venkataramani was appointed by the court in its 2019 verdict and arrears, if any, are there then it should be before 2019.

The bench also refused to go into the claims sought by a private firm Moon Buildtech Pvt Ltd which claimed to have invested in Amrapali Group of Companies with an assured rate of interest.

The top court told advocate ML Lahoty, appearing for the private firm, that its claim does not qualify in the category of the aggrieved home buyer rather it is a case of investment for a return.

"You have to be in a queue. As we have said that our priority is first that home buyers get their flats, their claims and after that will deal with claims of authorities like NOIDA and Greater NOIDA and then it will be claims of statutory bodies/institutions like electricity department, water department. After that is complete, we will certainly consider the case of those who have invested their money in Amrapali Group of Companies", the bench said.

The bench said it would take up the rest of the matters on July 25, when the court receiver will also be present.

On July 12, the top court had put on hold for the time being a proposed policy decision of the court-appointed receiver to collect from Amrapali home buyers additional Rs 200 per square feet of their units to meet the fund crunch as it took note of objections raised by flat buyers to the plan.

It had taken into account the objections raised on behalf of the home buyers by their counsels that the creation of a reserve fund or 'sinking fund' would put an additional burden on the flat buyers and there was no need for such a move.

It had said that the objections to the proposed policy decision of sinking funds be filed before the next date of hearing and it would take up the matter on July 25.

The top court had said that the counsels for the home buyers have raised "serious objections" to the creation of such a reserve cum 'sinking fund' and in their submission, such funds need not be created and matters can get sorted out even without such funds.

The home buyers had opposed the creation of such a fund and said that most of them have diligently followed the payment plan fixed by the court receiver and out of over Rs 3600 crore due from them, they have deposited Rs 1100 crore till now, which amounts to over 30 per cent of the total amount.

The court receiver had apprised the court that 1186 home buyers out of 3338 have taken possession of their flats so far and the rest of them are not responding to his communications and the last date for receiving their responses has been fixed for August end after which the properties will be declared as unsold inventories and resold in the open market.

He had also pointed out that 5413 home buyers out of 21,000 registered home buyers are not clearing their dues as per the payment plan and they have also been given a July end deadline, failing which their properties will also be sold in the open markets.

The NBCC, which is constructing the stalled projects of Amrapali Group had earlier told the top court that at present, 10 projects in Noida and 12 in Greater counsels are under execution involving 45,957 units with a sanctioned project cost of Rs 8,025.78 crore.

The top court in its July 23, 2019, verdict had cracked the whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by home buyers and ordered the cancellation of the registration of Amrapali Group under real estate law RERA and ousted it from prime properties in the NCR by nixing land leases.

The top court, which is trying to bring in funds for the stalled projects, had appointed a court receiver as custodian of the properties of Amrapali Group.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)