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SC tells Unitech to pay litigation cost to home buyers (Lead)

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) In a first of its kind order, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Unitech to pay the litigation cost to home buyers who had succeeded before the grievance redressal commission in their lawsuit against the real estate major but later opted for the return of their principal amount with interest instead of flats.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the real estate major to pay Rs 80,000 each as litigation cost to 39 flat buyers who had opted out of the developer’s Vistas project in Gurugram.

The court directed Unitech to pay the amount towards litigation cost within four weeks to buyers at Unitech’s Vistas project who have succeeded before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) but later opted out of the project.

The top court by its February 20 order had directed Unitech to pay interest at the rate of 14 per cent to the 39 flat buyers, but they later opted out of the project.

The 39 flat buyers had paid Rs 16.55 crore to the builder and sought both principal amount and interest thereon after builder did not hand over the possession of the flats as promised by 2012.

The happiness of the beneficiaries was so much that a woman standing in the visitors’ gallery loudly thanked the court. Later, she was escorted to the point from where lawyers address the judges and once again thanked the judges.

Meanwhile, 70 flats buyers of Amrapali Silicon City — a company of the Amrapali Group — on Wednesday moved the top court, challenging insolvency proceedings against the company before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The Amrapali Silicon City is a project located in Noida.

The tribunal has already admitted a plea by the Bank of Baroda against the company over a loan default.

In the case of Jaypee Infratech, the top court by its September 11 order had appointed senior counsel Shekhar Naphade and advocate Shubhangi Tuli to represent the home buyers at the meetings of the Committee of the Creditors.

The committee would consider the plan for restructuring of Jaypee Infratech by the Interim Resolution Professional appointed by the tribunal on August 9.

The top court had on September 4 stayed the order of the NCLT appointing an insolvency resolution professional to carry out corporate insolvency resolution proceedings on IDBI’s plea seeking recovery of Rs 526 crore from Jaypee Infratech.

The stay of the August 9 order of the NCLT restored the management of Jaypee Infratech back to the defaulting company. The IDBI Bank had moved the top court for the vacation of the September 4 stay order.

The top court on September 11 modified its September 4 order on a plea by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, who had told the court that if the control of Jaypee Infratech continued with its erstwhile management, then it would affect the rights of both the creditors and consumers.

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