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Monday, April 22 2024

SC restrains Jaypee directors from alienating personal properties

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked real estate major Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 275 crore — in two instalments — by December 31, telling it to “behave like a good child”.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the firm to deposit another Rs 275 crore after it allowed it to deposit Rs 275 crore with its registry.

It directed the Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 150 crore by December 13 and another Rs 125 crore by December 31.

Permitting Jaypee Associates to deposit another Rs 275 crore in two installments in December, the court said: “Needless to say that direction for deposit of Rs 2,000 crores shall remain as it is. The only indulgence is to pay the same in installments.”

The court order is seen as a relief to Jaypee Associates whose earlier plea to deposit Rs 400 crore was turned down as court had asked it to be ready with sizeable amount of Rs 2,000 crore that it has been directed to deposit to safeguard flat buyers’ interests.

Jaypee Associates had on a mentioning on November 6 had told the they have Rs 50 crore “ready in hand” and will arrange for another Rs 350 crore by Friday (November 10).

Directing the next hearing of the matter on January 10, the court said none of the promoter directors and the independent directors would alienate their personal assets.

“Neither the independent directors nor the promoter directors shall alienate their personal properties or assets in any manner, and if they do so, they will not only be liable for criminal prosecution but contempt of the court,” the court said in its order on Wednesday.

It further ordered that “the properties and assets of their immediate and dependent family members should also not be transferred in any manner, whatsoever”.

The court appointed advocate Pawan Shree Agrawal as amicus curiae and asked him to prepare a portal carrying all the details on the lines of one he had prepared in the case of real estate major Unitech and ordered that Jaypee Associates counsel Anupam Lal Das “shall provide all the details as required by Mr. Pawan Shree Agrawal”.

The top court had directed the real estate major to deposit Rs 2,000 crore to protect the interest of the home buyers of Jaypee Infratech — its wholly owned company — which is under restructuring on the orders of the Allahabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal.

The IDBI had moved the NCLT for default of payment against the loan taken by it. IDBI Bank has sought recovery of Rs 526 crore from the company.

The proceedings before the top court is rooted in a plea by unsecured creditors — who are flat buyers — to challenge an August 9 order of the NCLT’s Allahabad Bench to appoint an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) on IDBI Bank’s plea for recovery of Rs 526 crore from Jaypee Infratech.

The top court by its September 11 order had restrained the Managing Director and all Directors of both the companies from leaving the country.

However, Directors nominated by lender banks — IDBI Bank, ICICI and the State Bank of India — were exempted.

The court, by this order, had appointed senior counsel Shekhar Naphade and advocate Shubhangi Tuli to represent the home buyers at the meetings of the Committee of Creditors that would consider the plan for restructuring Jaypee Infratech by the IRP appointed by the NCLT.

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