SC asks Jaiprakash Associate Ltd to give details of ongoing housing projects


The Supreme Court has ordered Jaiprakash Associate Limited, to give details of all its ongoing housing projects in the country and also directed the setting up of a web portal, for home buyers’ grievances

The Supreme Court, on January 10, 2018, directed realtor Jaiprakash Associate Limited (JAL) to give details of its ongoing housing projects in the entire country, while reiterating its direction that its directors shall not alienate their personal properties. A bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra also directed amicus curiae Pawan Shree Agrawal, to set up a portal to take note of the grievances of the home buyers of JAL.

The bench, also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said it would decide at a later stage, the application of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), seeking its nod to file insolvency proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the promoter company, JAL. The bench also considered the submission of senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, representing the independent directors of JAL, that they be exempted from personal appearance before it on every date of hearing, on account of their old age. The bench, which exempted the independent directors from personal appearance, however, reiterated its earlier direction that neither would they leave the country without its prior nod, nor would they alienate or create third party interests, in their personal properties.

See also: SC grants more time to Jaiprakash Group, to deposit Rs 125 crores

It said the interest of home buyers was important and that JAL will have to deposit the money in pursuance of its earlier order. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and lawyer Anupam Lal Das, appearing for JAL, said they have sold several properties and were in the midst of loan restructuring. They said JAL would be depositing Rs 125 crores more, by January 25, 2018, as directed by the apex court on December 15, 2017, to safeguard the interests of hassled home buyers. JAL has deposited Rs 425 crores with the apex court registry, so far.

Earlier, the top court had restrained 13 directors – five promoters and eight independent directors – from alienating their personal properties, as well as that of their immediate family members. The apex court’s direction that the directors shall not alienate their or their family members’ personal properties in any manner, implies freezing of their assets. The apex court, on November 13, 2017, had also restrained the managing director and the directors of Jaypee Infratech Ltd, from travelling abroad without prior permission. The court had asked Jaypee Infratech to hand over the records to the interim resolution professional (IRP), to draft a resolution plan indicating protection of interests of over 32,000 hassled home buyers and creditors.

Home buyers, including one Chitra Sharma, through lawyer Ashwarya Sinha, had moved the apex court, saying that around 32,000 people had booked their flats and were now paying instalments. The top court had on September 4, 2017, the stayed insolvency proceedings against the real estate firm before the NCLT. Flat buyers, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, do not fall in the category of secured creditors like banks and hence, can get back their money only if something is left after repaying the secured and operational creditors, Sharma, in her plea, said. Hundreds of home buyers have been left in the lurch after the NCLT, on August 10, 2017, admitted IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden realty company, for defaulting on a Rs 526-crore loan, the plea said.

 

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