The Supreme Court today directed 13 directors, including five promoters of embattled Jaiprakash Associate Limited (JAL) not to alienate their personal properties and asked the firm to deposit Rs 150 crore and Rs 125 crore by December 14 and December 31 respectively.
The bench accepted a demand draft of Rs 275 crore by the real estate firm today. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud further restrained the directors from alienating the properties of their immediate family members also and cautioned that any violation of its directive would hold them liable for criminal prosecution.
Meanwhile, the bench-appointed lawyer Pawan Shree Agrawal as amicus curiae and asked him to set up within a week, a web portal, which would contain all details including grievances of the hassled homebuyers.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Ranjit Kumar, who appeared on behalf of the directors including independent and promoter ones, said they have filed affidavits in pursuance of earlier direction asking them to give details of their personal properties.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the real estate company, said adequate time should be given to the firm for arranging money or otherwise it may go the Sahara way.
The bench has now posted the plea of homebuyers for further hearing on January 10 and directed all the directors to appear again before it on that date. Homebuyers including one Chitra Sharma had moved the apex court saying that around 32,000 people had booked their flats and are now paying installments.
The top court had on September 4 stayed insolvency proceedings against the real estate firm at National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Flat buyers, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, do not fall in the category of secured creditors like banks and hence they can get back their money only if something is left after repaying the secured and operational creditors, Sharma, in her plea, said.
Hundreds of home buyers have been left in the lurch after the NCLT, on August 10, admitted the IDBI Bank's plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden realty company for defaulting on a Rs 526 crore loan, the plea said.