The Supreme Court
on Monday asked jailed Unitech
Managing Director Sanjay Chandra to establish his bona fides by depositing at least Rs 1,000 crore out of a total of Rs 1,865 crore to refund homebuyers
who do not want the possession of flats.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was informed by the amicus curiae (court’s friend) that 4,688 homebuyers
wanted their money back. According to the company’s figure, the total refund amount came to Rs 1,865 crore.
When senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Chandra, told the bench that the Unitech
MD should be allowed to come out of jail to arrange money for refunding the investors and complete their housing projects, the court
said he had to show his bona fides by depositing money for refund.
“Rs 130 crore you have deposited so far. Now at least Rs 1,000 crore should be deposited,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.
“For people who want refund of money, it is our duty to see that they get their money. For refund, you must show your bonafide. In our view, the canvass is very big. We can permit you (to come out of jail) and we can fix a time limit,” the bench said.
The apex court
also questioned the real estate firm why they cannot auction their properties to refund money to the homebuyers
and complete their housing projects.
“Why cannot you sell your properties and give the money back,” the bench asked.
Kumar told the court
that if Chandra is allowed to come out of jail for atleast four weeks, he can manage funds for disbursment to homebuyers
as well as give possession of flats
to those investors who want their homes.
“We (Unitech) cannot last until I (Chandra) come out. You can put stringent conditions. We have deposited Rs 130 crore so far,” he said, adding, “unless I (Chandra) come out, it will not be possible.”