Selling directors’ properties only way to secure Rs 5,112 cr from Amrapali: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the only way to secure over Rs 5,112 crore from real estate major Amrapali Group for construction of pending projects by the NBCC (India) Ltd is to sell the individual properties of the directors of the company.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit said that residential projects of Amrapali in the National Capital Region seem prima facie illegal and its real estate business is like “a well-operated cobweb”.

Amrapali Group has to “come out with clean hands”, the bench observed while directing it to provide detailed data of its unencumbered properties.

The court said: “It seems that it is a well-operated cobweb and once you get into it, you would not be able to come out of it. They have such huge liability to pay to NOIDA, Greater NOIDA, property taxes and secured creditors that what will be left after selling its unencumbered properties is pittance.”

The bench asked the realtor to file an affidavit in seven days having details of all the directors who have even served for a few months in the group and their individual properties and bank accounts, and made it clear that it would not touch the bona fide directors.

It also asked the group to clear the pending dues of electricity in the projects, observing that it is the company’s prime responsibility to clear all arrears.

On August 8, the apex court had asked the directors of the group to file details of all their movable and immovable assets along with valuation, and warned them that they would be rendered homeless if they try “to play smart.”

The court had clarified that all the properties of the directors would be sold if the company failed to raise Rs 5,112 crore required to complete its unfinished housing projects and directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange the money.

On August 1, the bench had slammed the group for playing “fraud and dirty games” with it and ordered freezing of bank accounts of all the directors of its 40 firms, besides attaching their personal properties.

Public sector undertaking NBCC (India) Ltd — formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd — was also directed to take over all the 16 unfinished projects of the Amrapali Group.

The real estate group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 40,000 home-buyers.

The apex court has been hearing a batch of pleas filed by home-buyers who have sought quashing of the National Company Law Tribunal order to admit insolvency proceedings against the group.

The buyers belong to low and middle income groups and must be granted equal protection as other stakeholders, the financial and operational creditors, the home buyers’ plea said.