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Jaypee homebuyers still hoping for dream houses

For 30,000 families who bought flats in Jaypee projects in Noida, there seems to be no end in sight to their problems as the resolution process continues to drag on.
Jaypee homebuyers still hoping for dream houses

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Tuesday extended the resolution period of debt-ridden Jaypee Infratech for another 90 days.

While the Supreme Court has ordered early addressing of similar problems faced by home buyers of Amrapali and Unitech projects, the home buyers of Jaypee continue to wait for end to their woes.

The Jaypee Infratech has assets including the Yamuna Expressway, hospitals and it has a debt of nearly Rs 8000, public money raised from various banks. It is a perfect case to be categorized as" lifting the corporate veil."

Jaypee assets can be monetized, as there are many across the country. But, in the case of Jaypee, the legal battle is being fought between homebuyers and consortium of banks before the bankruptcy tribunals.

Homebuyers want banks to support them to build their dream homes, but banks like to liquidate the assets and ensure maximum should be recovered to strive-off these loans from non-performing assets (NPAs) radar.

Today, the theatrics around Jaypee liquidation would jump over 350 days since its beginning in the last year.

The Jaypee matter before the Supreme Court assumes larger significance, as it is anticipated that the court might declare some radical observation.

"The Supreme Court in November 2017 had asked Jaiprakash Associates (JAL), JIL's parent company, to deposit Rs 2,000 crore in installments in order to cover part of its subsidiary JIL's liability towards 30,000 homebuyers. Till May 2018, JAL had deposited only Rs 750 crore with the apex court registry, and this has been transferred tribunal," said Ashwarya Sinha, counsel for homebuyers, citing wheels within wheels framework adopted by Jaypee.

The two-member bench of NCLAT has already granted 45 days to resolution professional (RP) appointed for the Jaypee Infratech to finish the process of inviting new bids for the completion of the projects. But according to homebuyers' banks are not in favour of this, as they prioritize their debt over the rest.

The tribunal has directed the RP and Committee of Creditors (CoC) of the company to sum-up the process of engaging new bidders. "Adani is at the foremost bidder. We think this is a positive movement for the homebuyers'.

The tribunal has rejected the plea of JAL to be considered as eligible to submit its bid, "said M L Lahoti counsel for a set of homebuyers'.

The NCLAT had asked NBCC to submit fresh resolution plan, despite its bid being rejected by CoC.

The Supreme Court in Jaypee matter earlier this month asked the Centre to come out with a proposal addressing difficulties faced by homebuyers who are yet to receive possession of flats despite paying money to builders. The court sought a proposal from the Centre.

The court observed that with the ongoing IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code), it cannot do much, but the Centre could suggest a way forward. This observation was made while hearing a plea seeking delay of JIL liquidation; in fact it has crossed the deadline for the corporate insolvency resolution process.

The Centre assured that it will respond to the plea. The matter is listed in the Supreme Court for detailed hearing on Thursday.

(Sumit saxena can be contacted at sumit.s@.in)

( With inputs from IANS )

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