SUPREME COURT DIRECTED RBI TO ADVISE BANKS TO RELEASE LOAN AMOUNT TO HOME BUYERS OF AMRAPALI GROUP

A Bench headed by Supreme Court Justice Arun Mishra and Justice UU Lalit passed the Order with regard to #Financing of #HomeBuyers by #Banks in the case of Bikram Chatterji and Others v. Union of India and Others [Writ Petition (C) No.940 of 2017] on 10.06.2020. The Court Order has come as a relief to the Flat Buyers in view of the prevailing circumstances of #Amrapali’s stalled projects. As the Court ordered Reserve Bank of India (#RBI) to advise all Banks And Financial Institutions, which have sanctioned home #loans to home buyers to pay out all balance loan amounts to the home buyers.

The aforesaid Writ Petition pertains to the projects of various companies of Amrapali Group in the Noida and Greater Noida. There are around thousands of homebuyers who had invested in various Amrapali projects more than a decade ago, but many of them are yet to receive possession of their homes/flats, as projects were stalled due to diversion of money by directors of the Amrapali Group of Companies.

The Supreme Court in its Order said that the condition of the people who bought the houses of Noida and Greater Noida is the same. There has been no progress in Amrapali’s project. Earlier Banks stopped the release of the remaining instalments of home buyers after the Amrapali project was halted. The Supreme Court asked Banks and Financial Institutions to restructure the loan of home buyers and release the remaining loan amount. These funds will be used to complete the unfinished work of the Amrapali projects. In this regard, the Court also ordered the release of loans that had been declared Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) as per RBI Guidelines.

In a huge relief to the builders, the Supreme Court also ordered that Noida and Greater Noida Authorities cannot charge high rate of interest from builders due to delay in payments to it. The Court has capped the interest rate at a maximum of 8% per annum. If they fail to pay, the relief granted shall stand withdrawn. The Court also directed Noida and Greater Noida Authorities that it shall also ensure that not only instalments are deposited, but also all such projects are completed within the stipulated time.

Earlier in this case, the Supreme Court on 03.06.2020 had directed the National Buildings Construction Corp. Ltd (NBCC), to take over and complete the stalled projects of Amrapali Group of Companies.

Therefore, the Court in its Order dated 10.06.2020 directed that NBCC is immune from any legal actions for any existing disputes in relation to the Amrapali Projects. Thus, they cannot be dragged in the litigations filed by existing home buyers, or any interested party before any Court/Commission or Authority.

It would be reasonable to conclude that the Supreme Court of India has always taken a progressive approach towards home buyers and it has resolved contemporary difficulties faced by such home buyers that have gone up till the Supreme Court. The aforesaid Order in the Amrapali matter is an example of fair justice delivery to the Parties. 

Lakshmi Vishwakarma

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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