A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra halted the December 8 order of NCLT, which had suspended eight Unitech directors over allegations of mismanagement and siphoning of funds and permitted their substitution by government nominees.
The bench stayed the NCLT order on the condition 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.
“When the matter is already pending in the Supreme Court the center should not move the NCLT. The order of the NCLT is stayed ,” said CJI Dipak Misra.
Attorney general K K Venugopal conceded 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.
Complimenting the attorney general for being very fair to the court, the SC said this stand saved a lot of stress and time for the court and home buyers.
During a hearing on Wednesday, senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the real estate firm 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.
Rohatgi alleged that the NCLT did not issue notice to the firm and its directors and passed the interim order, which was virtually a final order, and allowed the Centre to take over the firm.
Unitech also put forth that the takeover of the management of the company by the Centre would make it difficult for them to deposit Rs 750 crore as directed by the apex court to safeguard the interests of nearly 20,000 homebuyers.
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.
Source : timesofindia