The Supreme Court, on September 22, 2017, ordered the setting up of a web portal, to deal with the grievances of home buyers who had booked flats in Supertech’s twin Emerald Towers project at Noida, in Uttar Pradesh, whose demolition was ordered by the Allahabad High Court. A bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra appointed advocate Gaurav Agarawal as an amicus curiae and asked him to make operational the web portal, which would contain the entire details of home buyers of these twin towers and the money paid by them and refunds, if any, made by the real estate firm.
The bench, also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, was informed that Supertech has deposited Rs 20 crores with the apex court registry, for refunding money to the home buyers who did not want flats. The bench said that the consumers can register themselves on the portal and they will be given back their principal amount, along with 14 per cent interest.
During the hearing, lawyer Akhilesh Kumar Pandey, appearing for some home buyers, said his clients did not want the flats in the twin towers but wanted their money back with interest. The court then fixed the matter for hearing on October 23, 2017, when the amicus curiae would apprise it about the status with regard to refund of money to investors.
The apex court, on August 14, 2017, had asked the real estate firm to deposit Rs 10 crores, for refunding money to the investors who wanted to opt out of its Emerald Towers project, which comprises two 40-storey residential buildings in Noida. Prior to this, it had said that if the two residential buildings in Noida were constructed without proper sanction, these would be ‘demolished’.
The bench is hearing pleas against the Allahabad High Court’s April 11, 2014 verdict, ordering demolition of these twin towers – Apex and Ceyane – in Noida and directing Supertech to refund money to home buyers with 14 per cent interest in three months. The high court’s verdict had come on the plea of some residents of other buildings, who had alleged that the twin towers were constructed on green area. The towers have 857 apartments, of which about 600 flats have already been sold. The counsel for Noida Authority had earlier told the bench that the sanctioned plan for the building was in accordance with the guidelines and it was aggrieved by the high court’s finding in this regard.