Supreme Court asks government to consider taking over Unitech

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Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
Part time journalist, full-time observer. Editor-in-Chief at The Indian Wire. I cover updates related to business and startups.

New Delhi, May 9 The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to look into the possibility of it taking over the Unitech Group and complete the pending housing projects to protect the interest of home buyers.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said it would like to hear Attorney General K.K. Venugopal’s views in the matter. The government could look at the possibility of completing these housing projects, which would be a relief for home buyers, who had invested their hard-earned savings into it.

During the hearing, the forensic auditors told the court that officials of Unitech were not cooperating in divulging details of data, especially diversion of funds, to other entities.

Learning about the non-cooperation of Unitech officials with the forensic auditors, the court said in view of such happenings, it will have no other option but to hand over the case to the CBI.

Advocate Pawan Shree Agrawal, who is appointed as amicus curiae, told the court that municipal authorities in Gurugram have already initiated auctioning of the group’s properties, and that there is a possibility it could fetch hundreds of crores.

The amicus curiae in its earlier report had said 61 projects out of 74 are complete and nearly 16,300 home buyers have invested in these projects.

The bench then said auction should be stayed until the disposal of the pending petition. On January 23, court had refused to grant bail to Chandra brothers.

The court also ordered withdrawal of all the facilities given to Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra, who are lodged in Tihar jail, saying they should be treated like ordinary prisoners.

In 2017, the top court had issued directions to allow Chandras to meet their lawyers and company officials under normal visiting hours in order to arrange funds for the incomplete projects and return the home buyers’ money in their projects.

The court had directed Unitech to identify top-level officials who are not in jail and ask them to cooperate with the forensic auditors.

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