Close to 50 homebuyers of the project Anthea Floors in Unitech’s mini-township Wildflower Country in Sector 70 of Gurugram, staged a protest at the project site on Sunday morning. The homebuyers want the central government to take over the troubled real estate giant and constitute a new board to save hundreds of its investors and employers.
Anthea Floors project was launched in 2011, and has over 550 homebuyers who have invested in it, with the cost of units ranging between Rs 85 lakh and Rs 1.5 cr.
According to the protesters, the government had decided to take over the company last year, but went back on its decision without explaining the reasons for its decision. They added in the current circumstances, only the government can save the buyers by taking over the company. “We visited the project site and shot videos and pictures, which will be shared with the prime minister’s office (PMO) to alert them of the plight of over 500 homebuyers who have invested in this project,” said Vivek Tyagi, one of those affected. He added that a similar protest is also expected at the PMO later this month.
On December 12, 2017, the National Company Law Tribunal had decided to take over the distressed company and constitute a fresh board. However, a day later, the Supreme Court stayed the move, though they eventually gave the government a go ahead. Since then, however, there has been no development in this regard.
Other homebuyers who took part in the protest said they had no hope of getting their home, and now they just want their money back. “National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked the developer to refund the principal amount with 12% interest, but only 34 buyers — the initial complainants — have received anything yet, and that too only a third of the amount due,” said Ajay Jain, another homebuyer.
Homebuyers have also challenged the NCDRC order in SC, alleging that 12% interest does not compensate for their mental agony. “I’m over 70. I invested all my retirement savings in this project. Two senior citizens in our group have already passed away. I don’t know how much longer we’ll have to bear this misery,” said Hemvati Sheoran.
A group of buyers had filed a criminal case against Unitech owners, the Chandras, in 2015. An FIR was filed the same year. More complaints were later received. Eventually in 2017, Delhi’s economic offences wing arrested the owners.
The criminal case is still going on in the Supreme Court, in which, the Apex court had refused bail to the Unitech owners, and said homebuyers should be refunded.
“The matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court, which has appointed an amicus curiae, who has floated a web portal for buyers to put in requests for refund or possession. We’ll comply with whatever is decided by the Supreme Court,” said a Unitech spokesperson.