A government decision to introduce uniform guidelines for resolving grievances of homebuyers who suffer because of mistakes or frauds of realtors after paying their hard-earned money could help stabilize the realty sector, a media report said.
The government told the Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, hearing the Jaypee Infratech case that it is working on the "uniform proposal" to cover all contingencies.
The government response followed the top court's observation that it may use its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interests of more than 21,000 homebuyers in the case if their grievances were not adequately addressed.
The court asked the contesting parties before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to try and reach a common ground for arriving at a decision, according to a PTI report. The bench deferred the hearing of the case for July 18 after the Centre told the court that NCLAT would hear the matter on July 17.
Additional Solicitor General Madhvi Diwan, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that the Centre was working on a 'uniform proposal' to address grievances of the homebuyers. She said that the proposal would be submitted in the Unitech homebuyers' case by July 23, as directed by the apex court.
Diwan said that ministry officials have informed her about working on a uniform proposal, which would take care of various issues of the homebuyers. Homebuyers' counsel expressed the apprehension that Jaypee Infratech might go into liquidation affecting their interest adversely. The bench said that even if NCLAT sent the company for liquidation, the apex court had enough plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interests of the homebuyers.
Counsel referred to the Unitech homebuyers' case in which the government indicated that it might take over the stalled projects. The government said that similar relief could be granted to the homebuyers in the Jaypee case.
The central move for a uniform proposal had been triggered by the top court's suggestion on July 9, which asked the government to form a proposal for all cases where homebuyers are in trouble because of the realtors' inability to hand over possession despite the customers having invested huge amounts of money.
The apex court pointed out that the issue concerned lakhs of flat buyers across the country and Centre should form a concrete proposal to resolve it. "This issue will be bothering lakhs of homebuyers. Within the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) we cannot do anything. But outside it, you (Centre) can suggest something. We can consider that," the court said.
The court's observation came during the hearing of a plea against sending JIL case to liquidation, although the deadline for the corporate insolvency resolution process is over, as it would cause "irreparable loss" to thousands of homebuyers.