The Supreme Court Friday assured the home buyers of the to-be-razed 40-storey twin-towers of real estate firm Supertech in Noida that they will be refunded the full amount deposited with the builder.
The apex court also asked the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) of the firm, facing insolvency proceedings, to deposit Rs one crore with the apex court registry.
The Supertech’s 40-storey twin towers at Emerald Court Project of Sector 93A of Noida are scheduled to be razed on August 28.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, AS Bopanna, and JB Pardiwala said that the home buyers of twin powers will get their total refund but for the time being, they will be paid from Rs one crore, which will be deposited by the IRP by September 30.
The top court was hearing a batch of contempt petitions filed by home buyers seeking a refund as per the last year’s order of court.
The bench said that it would ensure that the home buyers of the twin towers get their refund in compliance with the August 31, 2021 order of the court.
“In the meantime, in order to ensure that the home buyers who are covered by the judgment of this court get some refund of their outstanding dues, we direct the IRP to deposit an amount of Rs one crore with the registry of this court on or before September 30”, it said.
The bench said that amicus curiae Gaurav Agarwal, will sit together with the IRP in the first week of October and jointly work out the outstanding dues of the home buyers and submit the details before the next date of hearing so that disbursement of some amount could be made to the hassled home buyers.
“The amicus and the IRP would jointly work out the outstanding dues of the home buyers, who have approached the court and submit their details on the next date of listing so that directions can be issued for the disbursement of the fund…”, it said.
The bench noted the submission of Agarwal that at present the corporate insolvency resolution process of the company is confined to only the Supertech Eco Village Project and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has 70 per cent of the revenue of the company will be used for completing the construction of stalled projects and 30 per cent could be used for other administrative purposes.
It said that in the first week of October, the amicus should hold a meeting with the IRP to ascertain, how much expenses are needed for the completion of stalled projects, how much the revenue, how much the expenses, and the schedule with which the entire outstanding of the home buyers could be cleared.
The bench said that a report should be filed by the amicus in this regard by the next date of hearing.
At the outset, Agarwal said that he had discussions with the IRP, who has been placed in charge of the affairs of the company and has come to know about the monthly revenue of the firm.
The amicus said that Supertech Ltd has an inflow of Rs 20 crore per month of which Rs 15 crore goes towards the construction of the stalled project and five crores are there for meeting administrative expenses.
He said that the IRP has assured that he will deposit Rs one crore by September 30 with the apex court registry, which is the amount diverted from the Rs five crore administrative expenses for payment of refund to the home buyers of twin-towers.
Counsel for home buyers said that till now they have uncertainty over payment of the refund by Supertech and hence court should mention that they will be paid in full but in installments, looking at the circumstances.
The bench assured them that they will be paid in full but it needs to balance the rights of everybody and hence after the report of amicus comes in October, it will fix a schedule for payment of the outstanding.
The top court had earlier directed the IRP to segregate the claims of home buyers from other creditors and make an endeavor for payment of their refunds on priority in compliance with the order of the court.
The erstwhile management of Supertech had earlier told the top court that only 59 home buyers are left to be refunded, while the rest of them have been refunded or shifted to other flats of the company.
On August 12, the top court fixed August 28 for the demolition of Supertech’s twin 40-storey towers and also relaxed the time frame till September 4 in case of delays arising from technical or weather conditions.
The apex court had earlier fixed August 21 as the date of demolition of the buildings, which have been held illegal for a violation of norms.
Earlier, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had declared it bankrupt on a plea filed by the Union Bank of India for non-payment of around Rs 432 crore worth of dues.
On August 31 last year, the top court ordered the demolition of the towers under construction within three months for violation of building norms in “collusion” with NOIDA officials, holding that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.
The top court had directed that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 per cent interest from the time of the booking and the RWA of Emerald Court project be paid Rs 2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers, which would have blocked sunlight and fresh air to the existing residents of the housing project adjoining the national capital.