SC refuses permission to Jaypee to hive off Yamuna Expressway; extends time for depositing Rs2,000 cr

26 Oct 2017


The Supreme Court has refused permission for Jaiprakash Associates Ltd to hive off the rights of multi-crore six-lane Yamuna Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

The apex court, however, gave time till 5 November for the company to deposit Rs2,000 crore.

The court had directed Jaypee to deposit Rs2,000 crore of investor money in its housing projects by 27 October.

"We are not inclined to entertain the application for modification of the order dated 11th September, 2017. However, we extend the time to deposit the sum of Rs 2000 crore till November 5, 2017," a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, disposed off the application and said it will deal with issue of homebuyers seeking flats at later stage.

Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) had approached the apex court seeking to hive-off the rights of Yamuna Expressway and modification or recall of the 11 September order directing the company to deposit of Rs2,000 crore.

Appearing for Jaypee, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi sought the court's permission to transfer the company's rights under the concession agreement in respect of Yamuna Expressway.

Attorney General K K Venugopal and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the IDBI Ltd, however,  opposed the prayer of the company.

Senior advocate Parag P Tripathi, representing the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP), also opposed Jaypee's submission saying the rights under the concession agreement in respect of Yamuna Expressway are of Jaypee Infratech Limited (JIL), which is subject to proceeding under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, cannot be transferred.

A advocate Ravinder Kumar appearing for Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) also submitted that the rights under the Concession Agreement were non-transferable.

The aspex court observed that it was easy to ensure that flat buyers get their money refunded from the errant builders, rather than getting their flats from them.

"Till now, homebuyers who were on streets and were moving from one forum to the other for possession of flats are now getting their money refunded after we started taking up their cause," the bench said.

Arguing for Jaypee, advocate Sibal, however, said the company has an offer from a Singapore-based firm to hive-off the expressway at a cost of Rs2,500-3,000 crore.

"We need money to pay the homebuyers. This company which is running four highways in the country has given us an offer. This is a reputed Singapore-based company. To hive-off, we need permission of the court as per earlier orders," he said.

Sibal also said the liabilities arising from loans from financial institutions are taken care of as the company has assets worth Rs17,000 crore, which even on distress sale will fetch Rs14,500 crore.

"We have loan liability of only Rs9,000 crore and by selling of the properties we can easily pay the financial creditors," he said.

"Allow us to hive-off the properties or else both the companies Jaypee Infratech and Jaiprakash Associates Limited will fall," he said.

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