The Supreme Court, on November 22, 2017, directed 13 directors, including five promoters of the embattled Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL), not to alienate their personal properties and asked the firm to deposit Rs 150 crores and Rs 125 crores, by December 14 and December 31, 2017, respectively. The bench accepted a demand draft of Rs 275 crores by the real estate firm.
A bench comprising chief justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, further restrained the directors from alienating the properties of their immediate family members also and cautioned that any violation of its directive, would hold them liable for criminal prosecution. Meanwhile, the bench-appointed lawyer Pawan Shree Agrawal as amicus curiae and asked him to set up within a week, a web portal, which would contain all details, including grievances of the hassled home buyers.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Ranjit Kumar, who appeared on behalf of the directors, including independent and promoter ones, said they have filed affidavits in pursuance of an earlier direction, asking them to give details of their personal properties. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the real estate company, said adequate time should be given to the firm for arranging money, or otherwise it may go the Sahara way. The bench has now posted the plea of home buyers for further hearing on January 10, 2018 and directed all the directors to appear again before it on that date.
Home buyers including one Chitra Sharma, had moved the apex court, saying that around 32,000 people had booked their flats and are now paying installments. The top court had on September 4, 2017, stayed insolvency proceedings against the real estate firm at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Flat buyers, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, do not fall in the category of secured creditors like banks and hence, they 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.