SC asks firm to deposit Rs 900 mn for purchasing Unitech’s land in Chennai

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar asked Omshakthy Agencies (Madras) Pvt Ltd to deposit the amount in the apex court registry

The Supreme Court today directed a company, which is negotiating with embattled realtor Unitech Ltd to purchase land in Chennai valued at around Rs 4 billion, to deposit Rs 0.9 billion by March 31 in the apex court registry.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar asked Omshakthy Agencies (Madras) Pvt Ltd to deposit the amount after Unitech informed the court that there was an agreement for sale of pieces of land between the two firms.

However, the apex court did not comment on the fervent request of Unitech Ltd Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, who is currently in jail, to grant him custody parole for 10-15 days to enable him to negotiate with interested buyers and arrange money for refunding the homebuyers and complete the ongoing housing projects.

A senior official of Omshakthy Agencies (Madras) Pvt Ltd appeared before the court as per its January 29 direction when the bench initially asked him to deposit Rs 1.5 billion by March 31.

However, the counsel representing the official told the bench that as per the agreement of sale with Unitech financial results , the entire amount of Rs 4 billion was to be paid by June 2019 and by March 31 this year, the company has to pay Rs 900 million.

“Let him (official of the company) deposit Rs 900 million on or before March 31, 2018,” the bench then said.

Advocate Pawanshree Agrawal, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, referred to an application filed by some investors saying that Unitech could sell three of its housing projects and get money to pay Rs 20 billion to the Noida Authority and over Rs 2 billion to the LIC. The company would then have a tranche of Rs 10 billion with it.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Chandra, said he would file a response to the suggestion given in the application.

He also repeatedly requested the bench to grant custody parole to Chandra.

“I (Chandra) am in jail for seven months. There is an onerous task for me. I (Chandra) am trying my best,” Kumar said, adding, “The Supreme Court has asked me to give Rs 7.5 billion for bail. I want to come out (of jail). Give me custody parole. Every buyer does not want to come to the jail to meet me”.

When the amicus said that Unitech’s Chairman Ramesh Chandra was there to look after these things, Kumar said, “the amicus should be neutral. He should not be speaking for the homebuyers only. This is not fair to me.”

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