Supertech’s illegal Emerald Court project: Supreme Court says will protect homebuyers’ interests

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Allaying the apprehensions of the homebuyers of Supertech’s illegally constructed 40-storey twin towers in the Emerald Court Housing project, the Supreme Court on Monday said it will protect the interest of these homebuyers who are seeking refund. This assumes importance in view of the insolvency proceedings initiated against the real estate firm.

The illegally constructed twin towers – T 16 (Apex) and T 17 (Ceyane) – in the Emerald Court Housing project on the Noida Expressway would be razed for flouting building laws and diluting safety standards, on May 22, in compliance with the top court’s last year’s August 31 order.

A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud sought response from Hitesh Goel, the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal on March 25, on the disbursal of claims filed by 59 homebuyers. It asked the homebuyers to file their claims with the IRP.

Amicus Curie Gaurav Agarwal informed the judges that the National Company Law Tribunal had on March 25 ordered insolvency proceedings against Supertech for default of Rs 431.92 crore and a moratorium has been declared.

The amicus suggested the homebuyers of the twin towers may be directed to file their claims to the IRP by April 15 and all claims should be collated, the interest due be calculated, and a report should be given to the apex court by April 30. The IRP may also indicate in its report whether the amount available with the company (or which can be reasonably made available in the near future from running operations of the company) would be sufficient to meet the said claims,” he said.

Agarwal also asked the top court to consider whether payments to be made to the remaining homebuyers of the twin towers should form part of the resolution process or whether the payments should be made by the company from the funds available (or which may become available in future) i.e. the said payments be kept out of the CIRP process.

In case the payments are part of the CIRP process, will the amounts due to the homebuyers be included as a separate category in the proposed resolution plans so that homebuyers get the refund with interest from the successful resolution applicant, the amicus said while seeking clarity from the Supreme Court.

Agarwal in its note submitted to the apex court stated that “as per the information given by Supertech, out of 711 customers/units, the claims of 652 units/customers are settled/paid. 59 homebuyers still have to be refunded the amounts. The principal outstanding would be Rs 14.96 crore.”

Supertech told the Bench that it will soon appeal against the NCLT’s judgment.