Jaypee Infratech logo. Photo: Reuters
The highest court in the country, lenders, homebuyers armed with multiple litigations are all fighting multiple cases against Jaypee Infratech in hopes of securing as much as Rs 20,000 crore, which would be used to clear debts and restart the stalled residential projects.
In a series of orders, the Supreme Court recently tried to ease the pain of homebuyers who have been affected by real estate developers. It also said that it may ask Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) to deposit between Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore more to make sure that harassed homebuyers related to various Jaypee Infratech projects get their money back.
The apex court has stepped in to safeguard the interests of thousands of homebuyers in the National Capital Region after the civic authorities, as well as the government, failed them, according to finance and consumer professionals.
A week after it stayed the insolvency proceedings against its infrastructure arm, Jaypee Infratech, the apex court also directed Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 2,000 crore by October 27 with its registry.
While homebuyers, experts say, have a long-drawn battle ahead, the court's order will help start that process. "The directive by the SC to Jaypee Associates is in the interest of homebuyers and we fully support it. It shows the intention of the judiciary to protect the public from misdemeanours of corporate bigwigs," said Shyam Agrawal, president, Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
Also, the Supreme Court had asked the interim resolution professional (IRP) appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to take over management of the realty major and submit an interim resolution scheme to the court in 45 days.
With multiple cases coming to the Supreme Court, the apex body has given out multiple orders to tackle the woes of various stakeholders. A few days back, it asked JAL to pay Rs 50 lakh to 10 homebuyers who had purchased flats in its housing project — the Jaypee Kalypso Court in Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered that the money should be paid to Developers Township Property Owners Welfare Society and the amount would be further distributed among the 10 homebuyers as compensation for the delay in handing over the flats.
However, with more homebuyers contemplating legal action, the courts might have their hands full in the coming months. Distraught homebuyers of Jaypee Infratech Limited are planning to bombard the errant real estate developer with as many as 4,000 individual civil and criminal cases over the next few months.
After the stay by the Supreme Court on NCLT's order on insolvency proceeding against Jaypee, homebuyers have now developed a multi-pronged strategy, which includes bigger and more vocal protests, meeting various ministers, sending letters to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and filing a fresh string of FIRs against the developers.
According to homebuyers in the project, filing multiple criminal cases is the only way to ensure that the developers either give in to their demands or the law takes its due course and they are prosecuted.