Compensate 39 home buyers, SC tells Unitech

Homebuyers have already been paid the principal amount and interest at the rate of 14% by Unitech as compensation for delay in delivery of flats under the Vistas project in Gurugram under the court’s April order

Settling the claims of 39 homebuyers of Unitech's Vistas project in Gurugram, the Supreme Court has asked real estate developer to pay within eight weeks an additional Rs 80,000 to each buyer for mental agony and towards litigation costs.

The 39 homebuyers heaved a sigh of relief after a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra brought an end to a five-year litigation that began with the flat owners approaching the consumer forum against Unitech. The portal is now functional but will be fully operational tomorrow.

The promoters of realty major Unitech Ltd, Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, failed to get an interim bail order from the Supreme Court on Thursday (September 21). The court was informed that Unitech had yet to deliver possession of 16,299 flats worth Rs 7,816 crore to investors.

"The website will be active from tomorrow", he said.

In his bail application, Chandra had submitted that he should be granted six months time out of jail so that he can ensure that his company's work is completed efficiently and that it can transfer possession to the homebuyers.

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This would include the extent to which individual buyers have been refunded by the company till now, subject to which the court was to decide whether or not to grant bail at the next hearing.

Additionally, the court had asked amicus curiae (friend of the court) Agrawal to maintain accounts of Unitech's different projects, home buyers and the extent of refund granted to each of them through a designated website.

Earlier, the firm had told the court that it had complied with directions on refund of principal and interest to home buyers of its Gurugram project.

Declining Chandra's application for interim bail for a third time in the past month, the Bench noted: "Bail jurisprudence can't be applied because there are 16,299 people waiting for their flats or their money", adding that the "the tears of 16,299 home buyers are more important than the freedom of the builder".

On 1 April, the court had sent both the accused to police custody after the prosecution said their custodial interrogation was required to find out the alleged money trail, beneficiaries of the transactions and recovery of project-related documents and other evidence.

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