New Delhi: In good news for the thousands of home buyers left in the lurch with builders delaying their dreams of owning houses, the Supreme Court on Tuesday cracked down on all such errant real estate companies, banks as well as public authorities, and issued a slew of directives.
Providing succour to the Amrapali home buyers in Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Greater Noida, the top court handed over all pending projects to the National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC). As many as 42,000 flats are awaiting completion in various Amrapali projects.
The court cancelled registration of Amrapali under RERA, thereby banning the real estate company from undertaking any housing project even in future.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra held that Noida and Greater Noida authorities were complicit as builders played a fraud upon the home buyers and siphoned off their money by diverting it to create personal assets of the Amrapali CMD and directors.
The court held that these authorities cannot be allowed to now receive their outstanding loan to Amrapali from these home buyers.
"They have been defrauded once and this court cannot allow them to be defrauded all over again," said the bench as it added that even bankers cannot extract their loans from the home buyers.
According to the bench, also comprising Justice Uday U Lalit, the home buyers will pay only towards completion of their houses and they cannot be burdened with the loans Amrapali owed either to the authorities or the banks. It said that they can recover only from the assets of the Amrapali functionaries that stand attached under the orders of the court.
The bench further ordered an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into the aspect of money laundering. It asked ED to submit periodic reports of investigation in the court.
The bench fixed August 9 as the next date of hearing.
The apex court also expanded the ambit of the petitions by the aggrieved home buyers of Amrapali, and directed the central government to take stock of pending housing development projects across all states.
The bench said the authorities concerned must take actions against the lease holders wherever there are inordinate and unexplained delay in completion of such projects, and also issue appropriate guidelines in this regard.