AmitAnand Choudhary

`Flat Bookers In Supertech Mustn’t Suffer’
The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that people who have invested their hard-earned money for booking flats could not be allowed to suffer because of the bad financial condition of a builder and directed realtor Supertech to refund money to home buyers who invested in its Emerald Towers project in Noida.
“We are not concerned whether you sink or die. You will have to pay back the money to home buyers. We are least bothered about your financial status,“ a bench of Justices Dipak Mishra and A K Goel told Supertech, directing it to refund the money within four weeks to 17 home buyers, as assured by the company earlier.

It also asked the company to furnish a chart of payments made to the 17 buyers at the next date of hearing.

Justices Misra and Goel held that the company could not take the excuse of being in bad financial condition to deny the rights of flat-buyers who wanted their money back after the project got into controversy for allegedly violating the law.

The court also asked the National Buildings Constru ction Corporation (NBCC) to inspect the site and find out whether the buildings had been built in the green zone in violation of norms.

Supertech is the third real estate giant in recent weeks to have come under judicial scrutiny for not refunding money .Earlier, Unitech and Parsvnath had expressed their inability to refund money due to financial problems, only to see the court rejecting the plea and directing them to take steps to pay back the money to buyers.

The Allahabad HC had in 2014 ordered demolition of the two 40-storey residential twin towers–Apex and Ceyane-in Noida and directed Supertech to reimburse the flat buyers with 14% interest in three months. The twin towers have 857 apartments, of which about 600 flats had been sold. The SC, while staying the demolition of the towers, had last year directed the company to refund those flat buyers who wanted their money back. It also asked the company to consider providing alternative flats to them.

Appearing for Supertech, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told the court that the money had been invested by the company in construction of the building and that only a few of the buyers want to get back their money . He said of the over 600 people who approached the company after the high court order, 274 had sought alternative arrangements.

He said the company was also returning money to those who had approached it in time for a refund.