Sunday morning saw a group of some 200 homebuyers from several projects of Unitech carry out a protest march towards the Prime Minister’s residence against the Centre’s decision of not taking over the company’s board. Their march was, however, halted midway by the police.
The buyers would like the Centre to take over the board, but with permission from the Supreme Court. They submitted a memorandum at the PM residence and claimed they had been called for a hearing on Monday.
Vivek Tyagi, a buyer of the Anthea Floors project in Gurgaon Sector 70, said around 100 homebuyers from Gurugram were part of the team that submitted the memorandum, signed by the core committees of eight buyers’ associations and even former employees of Unitech who claimed they had not been paid ever since the arrest of the developers.
Over 20,000 homebuyers who have invested in 61 Unitech projects across NCR are yet to get their flats. A group of buyers had lodged a complaint with the corporate affairs ministry, which, in turn, had approached the National Company Law tribunal in December last year with an offer to take over Unitech Ltd. The tribunal had allowed the takeover and asked the Centre to appoint a new board of directors to refund the homebuyers and carry out pending construction work.
The takeover was, however, challenged by Unitech in the Surpeme Court, saying the tribunal could not have approved the Centre’s offer when the case was being heard by the Chief Justice of India.
The CJI had criticised the Centre for not seeking the court’s permission before taking over the board. The buyers said the Centre subsequently withdrew its offer to take over the board instead of securing the court’s permission and going ahead.
“We want the ministry of corporate affairs to take over the Unitech board after seeking permission from the Supreme Court,” said Rudra Patil, who has invested in Uniworld in Gurgaon Sector 33. The project was launched 12 years ago.
Some of the protesters took to social media to raise their voice. The group had gathered at India Gate before heading towards the PM residence. “Lakhs are screaming for the help of PM Modi. Acquire Unitech and deliver projects through NBCC or other credible builders,” tweeted Rudragouda Patil, a buyer.
“The hon’ble court has also appointed the amicus curiae and the amicus curiae floated a web portal for homebuyers. Many home buyers have put in for either refunds or possessions in the portal. Whatever will be decided by the Supreme Court of India will be complied with. Also, the Supreme Court is under process of auctioning some of the land of the company and the same shall be completed in next 4-5 weeks,” the company said.