In NCR housing mess, relief for some, long wait for others

Real Estate Sector
Under-construction skyscrapers. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Dec 31 : More than 75,000 homebuyers of Amrapali Group, Jaypee Infratech and Unitech in the national capital region (NCR) are awaiting their dream houses, as the Supreme Court is seized with cases related to stalled projects by these realty giants.

Though the Jaypee Infratech house buyers may have a sigh of relief in 2020 as the majority of stakeholders, 97.36 per cent, including homebuyers and lenders, through e-voting backed the National Buildings Construction Corporation’s (NBCC) offer. It’s likely to pave the way for protection of homebuyers and accelerate completion of the stalled projects.

However, both Amrapali Group and Unitech are stuck at different levels in the legal circuit.

In the case of Unitech, the Supreme Court earlier this month asked the Centre to step in to take over its management. In Amrapali’s case, the court directed SBICAP Ventures to take a call, as soon as possible, on financing the uncomplete projects.

The SBICAP is fund manager of the government-sponsored Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Fund.

In Unitech’s case, the apex court has asked the Centre to probe into alleged financial fraud by the group and its promoters, where over 50 per cent of homebuyers’ money was siphoned off, and file an action-taken report on January 17.

In Amrapali Group’s case, an apex court Bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising U.U. Lalit, considered the application of SBICAP Ventures, placed on record by the Centre, with respect to the process for selection of stalled projects for funding by SWAMIH Fund and corresponding timeline. The application included five-point criteria on financing.

The court directed senior advocate R Venkatramani — the receiver — to draw a roadmap and make an application to SBICAP Ventures and submit the information on the stalled projects. It also gives a clear picture on the fate of uncompleted housing projects.

In Jaypee Infratech case, nearly 13 banks and over 23,000 homebuyers have voting rights in the committee of creditors (CoC). Over Rs 13,000 crore claim of homebuyers has been admitted. The banks’ claim is around Rs 9,800 crore. At the bidding, initiated on the apex court’s direction, 66 per cent votes, comprising 58 per cent of homebuyers and 8 per cent of bankers, were required for the bid’s approval.

According to advocate Ashwarya Sinha, appearing for Jaypee homebuyers, after the CoC voted for NBCC the stalled housing project are expected to move in the positive direction. “The affirmation by all stakeholders, including the financial institutions, reflect that the NBCC proposal was acceptable to all. This decision by all stakeholders will help in streamlining the process of completing the projects,” said Sinha.

The NBCC offered to complete 20,000 flats in three-and-a-half years. Suraksha Realty, another bidder, had offered to do the same in three years. But it failed to win the bid.

Jaypee Infratech, a subsidiary of crisis-hit Jaiprakash Associates, was pushed into insolvency process in August 2017 after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted a plea by IDBI Bank-led consortium.

(Sumit saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

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