The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the National Company Law Tribunal order allowing the Centre to take over the management of beleaguered realty firm Unitech Ltd, while acknowledging Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal statesmanship to admit that the government should not have approached the tribunal while the case was pending before the highest court of the land.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud took on record Mr. Venugopal's apology for approaching the tribunal. The case is up for hearing on January 12, 2018.
The Court has stood firm by the distressed home buyers and has been hearing the matter so that their investments can be returned safely back to them.
NCLT, on December 8, had suspended all the eight directors of the realty firm over allegations of mismanagement and siphoning of funds and had authorised the Centre to appoint its 10 nominees on the board. The NCLT order had come after the Centre moved the panel with a view to protect the interest of nearly 20,000 home buyers.
Sanjay Chandra, head of the real estate group, was asked on October 30 by the apex court to deposit Rs 750 cr with it by December-end for the sake of the homebuyers. NCLT, in its order, has said the government must give the name of its nominees by December 20 and restrained Unitech’s eight suspended directors from selling their personal and company properties.
The tribunal’s order had come after the government filed a petition arguing that Unitech was a fit case for winding up, but considering the interest of thousands of home buyers and small depositors, it wanted to take over the company management. The company has over Rs 6,000 cr debt and over 16,000 undelivered units from nearly 70 projects.
The apex court had on October 30 said jailed businessman and Unitech boss Sanjay Chandra would be granted bail only after the real estate group deposited money with its registry by December end.