For homebuyers of the beleaguered Unitech’s real estate projects in the millennium city, the wait for a resolution just got longer.
The economic offences wing (EOW) of Gurugram police has stated that it is stopping all probes into complaints of homebuyers, after Supreme Court ruled that police forces across the country should not take “coercive action” against Unitech’s directors as long as their matter is under hearing.
EOW indicated that they can’t probe the case without using measures the Apex court has described as “coercive”, so complainants should seek further relief from the Supreme Court.
EOW has 24 complaints from around 100 buyers of different Unitech projects across Gurugram, against the real estate major and its directors. Most of these relate to cheating, fraud and delay in delivery after the company had collected most of the dues.
EOW in-charge Vijay Kumar said the matter related to Unitech is sub-judice in the Supreme Court. “Apex court has directed not to take coercive action against the directors during the period they are hearing the case. It’s difficult to make any further progress in the probes, most of which relate to refund, without “coercive action” against the Unitech directors,” said Kumar, adding that since they stopped the investigations, they have been asking complainants to approach the SC. “We’re calling or emailing them, to apprise them of this development, since some of the complainants live abroad,” said Kumar.
Supreme Court is in the process of auctioning properties in the name of Unitech and its directors, to refund the homebuyers. “Those who register their complaints with the SC, will get proportionate refund from the funds collected through auction,” said Kumar, adding that a property in Chennai is scheduled to go under the hammer soon, and money generated through its auction will be distributed among homebuyers.
There are nearly 60 complaints against developers currently lying with EOW, and most are against Unitech. Suresh Sharma, who has invested in a pending Unitech project in Gurugram, said despite filing a slew of complaints with different fora, buyers have failed to get relief.
“We don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. There aren’t sufficient number of properties to auction, and it’s not clear if the ones that exist are enough to cover all dues,” said Sharma.
Unitech has a total debt of Rs 6,000 cr, with 16,299 homebuyers seeking refund. On July 5, the SC asked a panel, headed by former Delhi high court judge Justice S N Dhingra, to proceed with the auction of Unitech’s unencumbered properties in Agra and Varanasi of UP and Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, after the company failed to deposit Rs 750 cr before December 2017.
Unitech had earlier claimed before SC it’s negotiating with a firm to sell two of its land parcels in Chennai for around Rs 400 cr — one for Rs 170 cr, the other for Rs 229.45 cr.