28 August 2019: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has asked realty firm Raheja Developers to settle its dispute with homebuyers, after the company challenged the NCLT’s order to initiate insolvency proceedings against it.
A three-member NCLAT bench, headed by Chairperson S J Mukhopadhaya, directed the interim resolution professional (IRP) appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) not to issue any public notice and also not to constitute a committee of creditors.
The NCLAT directed to list the appeal filed by the realty firm on September 3, 2019, for orders.
The appellate tribunal’s direction came over a petition filed by Raheja Developers challenging the order of NCLT that directed to initiate insolvency proceedings on a petition filed by flat buyers.
Homebuyers are now considered as financial creditors under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
Last week, a two-member principal bench of the NCLT, headed by President M M Kumar, ordered start of insolvency proceedings and appointed an IRP to take over the management of the company.
The tribunal had said “a default has occurred” by Raheja Developers in giving possession of apartments, and rejected the contention of the realty firm that the delay was caused because of lack of infrastructure in the area to be provided by the state government authorities.
The NCLT’s order came over a petition filed by a flat buyer of Raheja Developers.
The petitioner had booked an apartment in the residential project Raheja Sampada developed by the corporate debtor (Raheja Developers).
Raheja Developers had issued a joint allotment letter on August 3, 2012, and executed a flat buyer’s agreement. According to the agreement, possession was to be delivered within 36 months, which was not fulfilled.
The buyers had made a payment of Rs 86.62 lakh to the company on various dates and sought a refund along with 18 per cent interest rate, claiming default after possession was not handed over within the stipulated time frame.
The NCLT observed that the 36-month period came to an end on August 3, 2015, and construction was not complete.
Raheja Developers had contended that there was no default from its part as the handing of possession was subject to provisioning of the infrastructure by the government in the area and it has received the occupation certificate in 2016.
According to the realty firm, till date, water and sewer pipelines have not been provided.
“The vague arguments made by the corporate debtor-respondent hardly need to be noticed. The other objections are also lame excuses to deny the claim of the financial creditor,” the NCLT had said.