NEW DELHI :

As the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to come up with a proposal on completing the stalled projects of realty firm Unitech and suggested that they be handed over to a state-run entity, the beleaguered realty firm seems to have found some support among a section of homebuyers, which have urged the apex court not to hand over the projects to any other company or the Centre.

The Supreme Court in the first week of July said the Centre should suggest modalities and name of the third-party agency, like the NBCC (formerly National Buildings Construction Corporation), which could complete the pending projects of Unitech in a time-bound manner.

Resisting the suggestion, Unitech had said they (the third-party agency) were not able to deliver in the case of Amrapali Group.

In a petition on July 17, a section of Unitech homebuyers said, "The applicant has concerns about the said proposal of handing over the Unitech projects, including the project in which the applicant has invested, to the said government entity on account of the failure of such proposals in cases of developers like Jaypee and Amrapali."

"Any decision by this court in this regard will have a serious impact on the applicant and other similar homebuyers. Thus, a holistic and well-evaluated view ought to be taken by this court before taking any decision," the petition said.

Pitching in for Unitech, which is undergoing forensic audit, the petitioners said the company was currently working on 50-52 projects, which was lower than the outstanding projects in 2017.

They further said the Justice S.N. Dhingra Committee had overseen the completion of 8-9 projects of Unitech, covering around 500 units. "It is submitted that approximately 900 units in 8 projects are being developed under the guidance of the committee. The applicant has gathered information that the progress of development by other realty players is slow in comparison to Unitech," the petition said.

As the entire realty sector was in stress, the government should help in its revival by offering stress relief packages, clearing dues payable by the government to realty firms forthwith, and expediting clearances required for development, they said. The government could also help in providing working capital at lower interest rate, they added.

"The options are numerous should the government want to aid to rehabilitation of the real estate sector and protect homebuyers."

Taking a line similar to the developer, the homebuyers said handing over projects to state-run entities, like NBCC, would not resolve the issue.

In the case of Amrapali Group, although NBCC carried out a project feasibility study it "has not even started construction even though it had initially assured the court that it will start development by February 8, 2019".

Incidentally, the Supreme Court in the Amrapali Group case on Tuesday ruled to complete the pending projects in a time-bound manner and directed NBCC to complete all the pending projects, hand them over to homebuyers and not to recover additional amount from them while completing the projects.

The order by a Division Bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit was not limited to only Amrapali Group homebuyers, but it specifically mentioned that realty projects of other companies should also be completed in a time-bound manner and the homebuyers shall not be made to run from pillar to post, which ended up in harassment of people who had invested their hard-earned money.

Now it remains to be seen whether the top court takes a similar decision in case of Unitech or relents to the request made by the company and the section of the homebuyers. The court will next hear the matter on July 26.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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