The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant an interim bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra in an alleged forgery case. The Apex Court asked the jailed real estate supremo to prove his bona fides by depositing at least Rs 1,000 crore which could be used to refund homebuyers.
Former solicitor general Ranjit Kumar requested a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra to release of Chandra for four weeks to arrange the money required to refund homebuyers and also for construction of flats. Unitech has deposited a total of Rs 20 crore so far, as directed by the court in earlier orders.
“Unless he is allowed to come out of jail, the recovery becomes difficult. Being inside jail will not help the refund process. Allow him to come out for four weeks and the court may appoint a committee of lawyers to monitor the recovery process,” he argued. He said Chandra cannot raise the money required both for refunds and completing the ongoing projects without coming out.
However, the Bench rejected the bail, asking Chandra to first deposit a substantial amount of around Rs 1,000 crore and only then it would consider his bail plea. It also suggested that the partially complete flats of the real estate major spread over its 64 projects across the country be auctioned.
Amicus curiae Pawanshree Agrawal told the judges that a total of 4,688 home-buyers so far have claimed a refund of Rs 1,865 crore from the real estate firm. Unitech owes a total of over Rs 7,800 crore to 16,300 home-buyers in 61 projects that have been undertaken by it.