SC refuses Unitech promoters' bail plea

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Declining Chandra's application for interim bail for a third time in the past month, the Bench noted: "Bail jurisprudence can't be applied because there are 16,299 people waiting for their flats or their money", adding that the "the tears of 16,299 home buyers are more important than the freedom of the builder".

The 39 homebuyers heaved a sigh of relief after a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra brought an end to a five-year litigation that began with the flat owners approaching the consumer forum against Unitech. They had sought refund of their principal amount, totalling Rs 16.55 crore with interest after the developer, which had promised to give the possession by 2012, delayed it.

The counsel for Mr Chandra made fervent plea to the bench to give them six months to enable them give the flats to the buyers and also pay back those who wanted their money back.

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"I want to say there is a clear solution to this".

The court also said that it will appoint a court receiver to auction the flats/Unitech properties if Unitech failed to pay the complete refund to buyers who are demanding refund.

According to media reports, the flat buyers were paid the principal sum and 14 per cent interest by Unitech following an earlier order by the apex court. The CJI quipped, "When homebuyers get their money or flats, you ( Sanjay Chandra) can be a free bird".

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The homebuyers claimed they neither got possession of flats nor refund of their hard-earned money invested in Amrapali Centurion Park-Low Rise project, Amrapali Centurion Park-Terrace Homes and Amrapali Centurion Park-Tropical Garden at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the amicus curiae told the top court that as per its directions, he has created a portal where the home buyers could upload their details to claim flats or refund from the company.

The amicus curiae presented data from 74 projects to the apex court, saying that partial possession has been given in 13 projects so far.

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The Chandra brothers are seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on 11 August rejected their pleas in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects "Wild Flower Country" and "Anthea Project" in Gurugram.

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