NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the order of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) allowing the Centre to take over management of realty firm Unitech Limited.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra stayed the December 8 order of NCLT, which had suspended eight Unitech directors over allegations of mismanagement and siphoning of funds and permitted their replacement by government nominees.
During a brief hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra expressed displeasure over Centre approaching NCLT and said, “When the matter is already pending in the Supreme Court the center should not move the NCLT.”
The Tribunal’s order had come after the government filed a petition arguing that Unitech was a fit case for winding up, but considering the interest of thousands of homebuyers, it wanted to take over its management.
However, the bench made it clear that Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra would resume negotiations from jail, where he is lodged at present, for sale of assets and properties of the realtor major to generate Rs 750 crore, which he has been asked to deposit in court for refund purposes.
About 16,300 home-buyers awaited delivery of their flats in 61 out of 74 projects in different places including National Capital Region.
Attorney general K K Venugopal told the bench that the Centre should not have approached NCLT when apex court was seized of the matter relating to Unitech's failure to refund home buyers.
On Wednesday, senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Unitech and its promoters, said the apex court had given time to Unitech chief Sanjay Chandra to negotiate from jail to sell assets to generate Rs 750 crore for refunding money to home buyers but, in the meantime, the Centre had approached the NCLT.
The apex court had on October 30 said jailed businessman Chandra will be granted bail only after the real estate group deposited money with its registry by December end. Chandra and his brother Ajay were arrested in April after investors, who did not get flats in the company projects as promised, filed complaints of cheating against them.