Thousands of homebuyers who booked properties in Jaypee projects years ago are an anxious lot since the National Company Law Tribunal initiated insolvency proceedings against the company. There are instances of several of these homebuyers receiving a call from a prominent real estate consultant with the deal that their booking would be “adjusted” with another property in Noida.
Someone who has booked a flat of Rs 1 cr is being advised to buy an apartment of Rs 2.5-3 cr in an upcoming project, with the amount paid to Jaypee Infratech to be adjusted in the new property.
Legal experts have, however, cautioned that it is not possible for flat buyers in Jaypee Infratech's projects to withdraw money. “It is not clear how the money will be withdrawn. The contracts don't allow for a withdrawal but only permit a discount for delayed delivery of flats,” said a lawyer. Lawyers have cautioned that withdrawal of money from Jaypee projects would amount to asset stripping, something that the insolvency resolution professional is unwilling to allow to ensure that the company is able to build flats in the future and hand them over to the buyers. In fact, it had categorically stated as much on Friday, in a set of FAQs released to the public. Not all of the projects that e being offered on transfer to are being offered on transfer to Jaypee homebuyers are residential. Some commercial properties are also on offer. The properties on offer are in Noida as well as in Greater Noida, along the Taj Expressway connecting Agra.
When contacted over phone, the leading property consultant said it had facilitated transfers to several properties over the last couple of years, which were essentially in projects developed by developers who had bought land from Jaypee. Asked how it would be done, the consultant said his company would talk to the insolvency professional appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal and then disconnected the phone.
But “transfer” to another project is not the only offer. Some brokers have suggested they can “buy” the allotment at a discount and pay those who have booked a flat.
The cyber crime cell of Noida police filed an FIR against unidentified people, after a misleading message doing rounds on social media platforms claimed nationalised banks have put some Credai member-developers in the Delhi-NCR region on their bankruptcy watchlist.
The message went viral on WhatsApp and other platforms, creating panic among homebuyers, Credai said. It listed 24 top builders, and said bankers have put them on a watchlist. It also stated that following the insolvency cases of Jaypee and Amrapali, top banks have stopped finances for all projects of these builders in Noida and elsewhere. “We suspect that some people with malafide intent wanted to generate a sense of fear among buyers,” said Pankaj Bajaj, president of Credai NCR.