SC to Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra: Deposit Rs. 750 Cr by December-end or stay in jail

Supreme Court: Refusing to release Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, involved in the Unitech Flats controversy as alleged by the home-buyers, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr CY Chandrachud, JJ held that the petitioners will be granted bail only if they deposit a sum of Rs.750 crores in the Registry of this Court by the end of this year which shall be kept in an interest earning fixed deposit.

Amicus curiae Pawan Shree Agrawal submitted before the Court that he has got the information from the home buyers that some of them intend to have flats and some of them want the amount refunded and that the amount that is computed for refund at present may go above Rs.2000 crores.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar and advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari, appearing for petitioners, submitted that if they are allowed liberty they would monetise their assets and would be able to complete the projects so that the home buyers who intend to have possession can be satisfied.

The Court, hence, directed that the petitioners can arrange the money by executing appropriate documents within a fixed period. However, the counsels appearing on behalf of the petitioners submitted that the petitioners were not allowed to meet the lawyers more than once a week and that too without papers. The Court, hence, directed the jail authorities to facilitate the meetings of the petitioners with their officers/officials/employees at such intervals as may be intimated by the petitioners. It also directed that the video conferencing facility be made available to the petitioners within the visiting hours so that they shall be in a position to negotiate. The Court, however, made clear that the petitioners are only entitled to negotiate in respect of unencumbered properties or assets.

The Court also asked amicus curiae to create a portal where the persons who have invested with Unitech by way of fixed deposits shall give the requisite information. However, the home buyers who have already expressed their option in the portal made by the learned amicus curiae shall not put in anything by which their option will be changed.

The matter will now be taken up  in the second week of January 2018. [Sanjay Chandra v. State Govt. of NCT of Delhi,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1260, order dated 30.10.2017]

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