Supreme Court to hear Unitech plea against NCLT order today

On 8 November the NCLT allowed the government to appoint new management for real estate giant Unitech Limited

The Supreme Court of India on Monday made a decision to hear an submission against the recent order of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that allowed the central government to appoint new management team for the debt-ridden real estate firm Unitech.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud considered the submission of the real estate firm that its bank accounts have been frozen and the company and its jailed promoters are finding it hard to deposit Rs 750 crore as asked by the apex court.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Unitech Ltd and its jailed promoters, referred to the recent NCLT order and said the takeover of the management of the company by the Centre would make it hard for them to deposit Rs 750 crore as directed by the apex court to safeguard the interests of homebuyers.

"The leave of this court, which is seized of the matter, should have been taken by NCLT", the Bench observed and posted the appeal of Unitech for hearing on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, shares of Unitech also rose as much as 20 percent after the NCLT authorised the government to change the director board of the company.

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.

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The tribunal's order had come after the government filed a petition arguing that Unitech was a fit case for winding up, but considering the interest of thousands of home buyers and small depositors, it wanted to take over company management.

In a rare move, the government had approached the tribunal to take over the management to protect the interest of almost 20,000 home buyers, and 51,000 depositors to whom the company owes Rs 723 crore.

The NCLT also restrained Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, directors of Unitech, from engaging in transactions related to their personal wealth till an investigation into alleged siphoning and diversion of money is concluded.

Sanjay Chandra, head of the real estate group, was asked on October 30 by the apex court to deposit ₹750 crore with it by December-end for the sake of the homebuyers.

With a total debt of over Rs 6,000 crore, the company has not been able to deliver over 16,000 units from its 70 housing projects spread in different parts of the country. We are concerned with the home-buyers, not the fixed depositors.

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