Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) on Monday told Supreme Court it would deposit Rs 6 billion more to refund the homebuyers if it was allowed to dispose of its identified assets, including a cement plant at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was informed by senior advocate Fali S Nariman that JAL has already deposited Rs 7.5 billion with the apex court registry and, for paying the principal amount to the homebuyers, it would pay Rs 6 billion more in seven installments.
The senior lawyer told the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that a prior approval should be granted to JAL "to dispose of identified cement assets including its cement plant at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.
"To enable JAL to do this, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Allahabad may kindly be directed by this court to proceed forthwith to decide and pass appropriate orders on its (JAL) plea for sanctioning the Scheme of Arrangement, propounded pursuant to Master Restructuring Agreement signed and accepted by all 32 creditors of JAL.
"The Scheme of Arrangement is already filed with the NCLT, Allahabad and the NCLT in its Order dated January 25, 2018 has sought for appropriate directions from this Court."
At the outset, Nariman elaborated the background of JAL and its subsidiary Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) which has been facing proceedings in the NCLT and in the apex court due to the litigations initiated by banks, financial institutions (FIs) and the home buyers.
He also referred to the impediments in the timely delivery of homes to the homebuyers and said now the situation has become grave.
"Housing Plan (of JIL) envisaged construction of project in June 2009 at two locations of acquired land totalling 2517 acres: in two parcels namely 1162 acres in Wish Town Noida and 1355 acres in Mirzapur as under.
"307 towers (each tower ranging from 90 to 110 Units) in two parcels of land admeasuring 2517 acres (out of 6175 acres) was planned," the lawyer said.
Nariman said that first impediment was between 2009 and 2011 and because of the Commonwealth Games, the building contractors, who had been engaged by JAL/JIL for construction, transferred a substantial workforce from the housing projects to work for the CWG under the orders of the Centre.
"The second impediment leading to temporary disruption of work at site was an ex-parte order issued by National Green Tribunal on January 11,2013 restraining all builders of Noida and Greater Noida area from extracting any quantity of underground water for the purposes of construction or otherwise," he said.
"The third impediment (for 2 years) was another order issued by NGT dated August 14, 2013 to the effect no further construction was to be done within 10 kms radius of Okhla Bird Sanctuary without obtaining proper environment clearance," he said, adding the obstacle was later removed by the Centre.
Nariman, who would resume advancing of the arguments tomorrow, said that till date, out of 228 towers, construction of 106 Towers, consisting 11,336 units/flats, was 50 to 90 per cent complete.
Earlier, the apex court had listed for final hearing today, the pleas of hassled home buyers registered with JIL, saying it would exclusively deal with their grievances and the "capability" of realty firm to refund money to them.
The bench had said it would ask the NCLT at Allahabad to expeditiously decide JAL's plea on restructuring of its subsidiary firm JIL if they deposit Rs 6 billion for refunding principal amount to home buyers who have opted out of housing projects.
It said that Rs 7.5 billion has been deposited by JAL with the apex court's registry and Rs 6 billion more would be required for paying principal sum to the homebuyers who wanted refund of their investment.
Prior to this, it had directed JAL to deposit 10 billion, in addition to Rs 7.5 billion already deposited, by June 15 to provide refunds to the homebuyers who had wished to opt out of its various housing schemes.
The homebuyers had moved the apex court stating that around 32,000 people had booked flats and were now paying instalments.
The plea had also stated that hundreds of homebuyers were left in the lurch after the NCLT, on August 10 last year, admitted the IDBI Bank's plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden realty firm for allegedly defaulting on a Rs 5.26 billion loan.