Unclaimed Amrapali flats maybe resold as Supreme Court directs final notice be given to buyers

The Supreme Court posted the matter for further hearing on August 27 and said that all pending issues will be taken on that day.

Published: 14th August 2021 11:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2021 11:41 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo| EPS)


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has initiated a process to cancel bookings of over 9,500 Amrapali project flats, which are unclaimed or booked in the name of fictitious people or are benami property, to fund stalled projects.

A bench of justices U U Lalit and Ajay Rastogi direction came after court receiver senior advocate R Venkatamramani and advocate M L Lahoty, appearing for home buyers, said they have submitted a note that the unsold inventory and flats booked on fictitious names, as identified in a forensic audit, need to be resold to generate funds for pending projects.

The bench directed, "At this stage, we allow the Receiver to go ahead and grant a final opportunity to 9,538 Home Buyers. Time of two weeks be granted to them to come forward and register themselves, failing which the concerned apartments/villas booked by those home buyers in the first category shall be treated as unsold inventory and can then be proceeded with for the purposes of effecting appropriate sales."

The bench said that the court receiver has pointed out two categories of home buyers--first category is of 9,538 home buyers who have neither registered so far in the Customer Data maintained by the office of the Receiver, nor have made any payments, subsequent to the judgment of the Court in July-2019.

It noted, in its order, that there is a second category of 6,210 home buyers, who have registered themselves in the Customer Data but have not made any payment since the judgment of this court in July 2019.

The top court posted the matter for further hearing on August 27 and said that all pending issues will be taken on that day.

Venkataramani told the bench the process may generate enormous funds needed for the construction of pending projects and will also help identify other flats undervalued or booked on bogus names.

He submitted that a project-wise list of both categories of home buyers have been compiled and necessary direction is solicited from the court in order that the allotments to such defaulting home buyers shall be treated as cancelled, after giving one final opportunity for expressing their interest in the allotment and making due payment.

"This will facilitate computation of unsold inventory, which then can be shared with the NBCC for the purposes of effecting sale," he has said in his note submitted to the top court.

Venkataramani further said the documentation work has been completed with the Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing SWAMIH Investment Fund I (SWAMIH Fund), sponsored by the Centre and managed by SBI CAP and it will invest Rs 650 crore in six projects of the erstwhile Amrapali Group at Noida and Greater Noida.

The court receiver further said that Rs 10 crore has been released by SBI CAP as token money and disbursed to NBCC and the remaining installments will also come within a week.

According to the agreement, SBI CAP will infuse funds in Amrapali projects-- Silicon City-1, Silicon City-2, Crystal Homes, Centurian Park- Low Rise, O2 Valley and Tropical Garden -- where construction of 6,947 units are stalled.

Venkataramani further informed the bench that meetings have been held with 10 banks, including Bank of Baroda, UCO Bank and Bank of India, which will form a consortium to fund the stalled projects.

"Apart from them, Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank will also support the construction of pending projects. Final discussions will shortly take place as certain assurances given need to be confirmed, post which banks will have no objection to fund the projects," he said.

The court receiver further informed the court that Union Bank has informed that approximately 3,000 home buyers' home loans are being sanctioned and roughly about Rs 300 crore will be made available and the bank has agreed to disburse the said amount.

Earlier, court-appointed forensic auditors Pawan Agrawala and Ravi Bhatia in their initial report to the court submitted that 5,229 unsold flats, including those booked by Amrapali for just Rs 1, Rs 11 and Rs 12 per square feet.

More such flats came to the court's notice subsequently, taking the total number of unclaimed flats to 9,538.

The court had asked for the appointment of a valuer to ascertain the true value of these properties.

The top court had on September 1 last year, in a relief to over 45,000 home buyers of now defunct Amrapali Group, had resolved the issue of interest payable to SBICAP Ventures and cleared the hurdle for funding of six stalled projects covering around 7,000 residential units.

The SBICAP, which manages the government-sponsored stress fund for the real estate sector, had earlier told the top court that it has decided to provide Rs 650 crore for the constriction of six identified stalled projects of Amrapali Group.

The top court had said that the construction will be carried out by the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) under the monitoring of a court-appointed committee.

The apex court in its July 23, 2019 verdict had cracked the whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by home buyers and ordered the cancellation of the registration of the Amrapali Group under real estate law RERA, and ousted it from prime properties in the NCR by nixing the land leases.

Amrapali Group directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind bars on the top court's order.


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