No bail for Unitech's Chandra brothers; SC creates portal

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant interim bail to Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra for the third time this month, and asked homebuyers who are yet to receive possession to register their claims for refund or apply for possession on the newly created portal www.amicusunitech.in

An amount of Rs7,816 crore has been collected by the company from 16,300 home buyers from across all Unitech projects, amicus curiae Pawanshree Aggrawal told the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and Amitava Roy.

The amicus curiae presented data from 74 projects to the apex court, saying that partial possession has been given in 13 projects so far. This means that the real estate company, reeling under a cash crunch, owes approximately this amount for the incomplete 61 projects.

The court said that buyers should log on to the website and put in their request for a refund or possession and that a decision will be taken on the basis the data that is collated. The next date of hearing is 23 October.

The court restricted the collection of data to home buyers who have not received possession.

Aggarwal said that while the court has not specified any time for buyers to file their claims or seek a refund, he will be proposing 10 October as the last date. The portal is currently functional and will be fully operational tomorrow.

When the promoter submitted that he should be given bail to arrive at a workable solution and give possession to home buyers, the court said that it has to see the interest of 16,300 home buyers against two people asking for bail.

The court also said that it will appoint a court receiver to auction the flats/properties if Unitech fails to pay the complete refund to buyers who are demanding refund.

The apex court last Friday refused to grant interim bail to Unitech's jailed promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra and said it will consider their pleas only after the data of home buyers seeking refund is collated.

It had directed advocate Pawanshree Agrawal to create a website by 21 September, in which the home buyers could upload their claims for possession of flats or to get their money back.

The Chandra brothers are seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on 11 August rejected their pleas in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects 'Wild Flower Country' and 'Anthea Project' in Gurugram.

The need for a website was felt by the court as there are over 16,000 investors in 74 real estate projects of the company and it is difficult to collect details of all of them.

The apex court had, on 8 September, assured those who had booked flats in Unitech  group projects of refund of their investment or delivery of their homes, while telling the promoters that they will not get bail till the customers' grievances are redressed.