On 31st July, Friday the Supreme Court directed the amicus curiae to share the resolution plan made by the new board constituted for Unitech ltd on its portal and invite suggestions from all the stakeholders within 10 days.
This matter is of the criminal case which was started when a complaint was lodged in 2015 and later joined by 173 other home buyers of Unitech projects. Sanjay Chandra, promoter of Unitech ltd was in jail since 2017 for siphoning of Homebuyers money. Recently on July 7th, he was released by the apex court on an interim bail of 30 days from his actual release date on ‘humanitarian grounds’ as both his mother and father were tested positive for COVID-19. A Forensic Audit was directed by the Top Court in 2018 of Unitech Ltd and its sister concerns and subsidiaries by Samir Paranjpe, partner, Forensic and Investigation Services in M/S Grant Thornton India. The report submitted by the forensic auditors said that Unitech ltd received around 14,270 crore rupees from 29,800 homebuyers between the year 2006-2014 and around 1,805 crore rupees from 6 financial institutions for the construction of 74 projects. Out of these Rs. 5,063 crore of home buyers and Rs 763 crore of financial institutions were not the utilized and high-value investments were made off-shore-tax-haven countries between 2007-2010.
The top court on 20th January gave the permission to the Centre to take total management control of the realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors. The new board consisted of retired Haryana Cadre IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik as chairman and managing director. The resolution plan was submitted by the new board of the reality firm under IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code). The apex court also issued a contempt notice against Devas LLP, the company that had bought Unitech’s Bengaluru land, for not having paid up Rs 52 crore to the court registry within four weeks of the order issued by the Supreme Court in February 2020. As per the resolution plan submitted last week, the Unitech board would take four years to complete construction and require Rs 5,000 crore to complete the construction of incomplete units. “To bring an end to the miseries of unending wait of the homebuyers, the Board has drawn up the tentative schedule depending upon the existing level of completion of projects/ sub-projects. The Board envisages that construction at various sites can be commenced within 6 months of the approval of the Resolution Framework, and possession of flats can thereafter be delivered as per the following tentative schedule: (i) Within 1st 12 months: up to 2,500 units to be delivered; (ii)Within 12 - 24 months: up to 6,500 additional units; (iii) Within 24 - 36 months: up to 5,000 additional units; (iv) Within 36-48 months: balance units to be delivered,” the resolution plan has said. On Friday, through video conference, a hearing was conducted with a bench comprising of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice M R Shah wherein Pawan Shree Agarwal, a lawyer amicus curiae, suggested that if the court wished, then the resolution plan may be shared with the parties on the portal. The Agarwal during the hearing said that ‘if the court thinks it appropriate, the copy of the resolution plan submitted by the new board can be uploaded on the portal so that the parties can look into it and give their suggestions if any.’ The court in the order said that ‘We request amicus curiae Pawan Shree Agarwal to upload the copy of the resolution plan filed by the newly constituted board on the portal maintained by him in pursuance to the court’s order. The court also said that the suggestions to be shares within 10 days from the date of uploading and amicus will collate the suggestions and present it in the court on the next hearing on August 14, 2020. The firm’s partners have also been directed to appear before the court on the next date of hearing.