Set up online portal to refund homebuyers: SC to Supertech
After Jaypee and Unitech, the Supreme Court on Friday cleared the decks for refunding the buyers of apartments in two towers of Noida-based Supertech’s Emerald Court project that were declared “unauthorised” and ordered to be demolished by the Allahabad High Court on April 11, 2014.
The Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said it will not take up those cases where buyers were undecided over claiming possession of the flats or seeking refund of their money. The Bench said such cases will be guided by the order passed by the Allahabad High Court.
However, for those seeking refund, the Bench extended a helping hand and decided to form a web portal where the buyers can register and seek a refund. The portal would contain the entire details of the homebuyers of these twin towers and the money paid by them and refunds, if any, made by the real estate major.
The Bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, appointed advocate Gaurav Agarwal as amicus curiae to assist the court in this case and requested him to give the name of the portal to both parties.
The court made it clear that this portal was meant only for those buyers whose flats will be demolished after having been declared unauthorised.
Even the National Buildings Construction Corporation in its report to the SC indicated that the open space available between the two towers (Tower 1 and Tower 17) was less than 20.45 metres as prescribed by the National Building Construction Rules. It was thus held to be non-compliant with Noida Building Regulations 2010.
The two towers, Apex and Ceyane have 40 floors each and the Allahabad HC had directed Supertech to refund money to homebuyers with 14 per cent interest. The towers have a total of 857 units, of which 600 were sold by the company.
Supertech counsel senior advocate Salman Khurshid informed the court that the company had paid Rs 109 crore towards principal and interest while some demands were outstanding on account of adjustment of interest component. “Money is available with us and whoever wants refund, we are in a position to give them funds,” he said.
During the hearing, lawyer Akhilesh Kumar Pandey, appearing for some homebuyers, said his clients did not want the flats in the twin towers but wanted their money back with interest.
The court then fixed the matter for hearing on October 23 when the amicus curiae would apprise it about the status with regard to refund of money to investors.
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