SC declines bail to Unitech promoters; allot flats by March 18 or refund money

Unitech Gurgaon

The Supreme Court of India declined bail to the Unitech promoters Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra till 15 September in case of a forgery complaint lodged by the home buyers of its Gurgaon-based residential project.

Apex court assured the hassled flat buyers of Unitech group projects, of refund of their money or delivery of their homes while warning the company’s promoters that the bail will not be granted till the customers’ grievances are redressed.

Deferring Chandra’s plea for interim bail, a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices D Y Chandrachud and A M Khanwilkar said, “You (Chandra) have to pay back the money or allot flats or plots to all the buyers by the end of this financial year. We don’t know from where you will arrange this money. But you have to do it for all the projects of Unitech.”

“Whoever (flat buyers) wants their money back will get their money back and those who want flats will get their flats,” Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra said.

Added troubles

Compounding problems of Chandra brothers, Saket court has allowed the police to interrogate them for next 7 days in relation to the three FIRs alleging that Chandras have cheated home buyers of their hard-earned money in its Greater Noida projects.

Three FIRs against Unitech Promoters

One of the three FIRs says, that the firm floated a housing project ‘Unitech Verve’ in 2006 at Greater Noida which was booked by the complainant Ram Narain Aggarwal, a retired government employee, for Rs. 16.77 lakh.

The delivery of the flat was scheduled by December 2009, but the complainant has not yet got the possession of its flat, it alleged.

The other 2 FIRs also alleged non-delivery of flats to the home buyers, and fraud by the promoters. The Bench appointed advocate Pawan C. Aggrawal as an amicus curiae to assist it in this matter and asked him to furnish all the details including all the projects of the Unitech group, number of flat buyers seeking either flats or refund, the amount of money refunded by the group and number of flat buyers who have been given the principal amount.

Unitech promoters’ lawyer Abhimanyu Bhandari said he will pay back the money to every investor in front of the court but for that he needs to work from his office and raise funds.

Promoters’ appeal for bail

“Giving me interim bail will solve the problem but keeping me in custody will not solve the problem. I have to recover money from various stakeholders so that I can payback all those who want their refunds. But for that I need to work from office,” Mr. Bhandari said.

Bhandari also said that the promoters have complied with all the conditions imposed by the court and, till date, Rs. 20 crore has been already deposited in compliance with the earlier orders.

Mr. Bhandari argued that Unitech promoters have demonstrated their bonafides by complying with all the conditions and they will return the money to everyone.

Chandra brothers are seeking an interim bail from the Supreme court after Delhi High Court on August 11 rejected their plea in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects’ — ‘Wild Flower Country’ and ‘Anthea Project’ — located in Gurugram.

The Supreme Court on September 1 said that although it is absolutely conscious that it is dealing with an application for bail, but “the consumers who have invested their money in various projects undertaken by the petitioners cannot be allowed to lurch in the dark. Their problem has to be solved”.

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