4 September 2019: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has appointed an insolvency resolution professional to initiate insolvency proceedings against the Indirapuram Habitat Centre — a shopping centre in Ahimsa Khand. The announcement to appoint Pawan Kumar Goyal as the IRP came through an order dated August 22. The IHC, which is the corporate debtor in the case, was incorporated in 2002 and the property sold to around 2,000 allottees. Of them, around 300 were handed over shops and commercial spaces. The NCLT order came after Dimand Trimax, a real estate investor, raised an insolvency bid against IHC under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2016) for non-payment of a loan worth Rs 32 crore. The insolvency proceedings against the company have been initiated from August 26 and all allottees have been given time till September 9 to claim their stakes as financial creditors.
Lawyers representing buyers of commercial space at IHC said the developer had sold shops and then mortgaged them for further funding. The buyers as well as those who have lent money on the basis of this mortgage are now party to the insolvency proceedings.
“While the buyers are the main claimants of the property, those who have lent money on the basis of the mortgage will also stake claim to their investments. Now, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has to take responsibility for their role in the matter,” said Tarun Tandon, an advocate representing a section of IHC buyers.
IHC has been facing problems with the GDA as well. On July 5, the development agency had sealed the IHC premises over non-payment of property tax to the tune of Rs 49 crore despite several reminders. This case dates back to 2007, when GDA had sold about 12 acres to the retail hub developer for Rs 100 crore, of which it had deposited only Rs 25 crore. The matter dragged on for several years and in January 2017, the IHC developer offered a one-time settlement to the GDA, which the development agency accepted.
The GDA had in October 2017 sealed a portion of the IHC. However, a month after the sealing, the retail hub developer approached the Allahabad high court, and was directed to deposit Rs 70 crore with the development agency. Of the 12 acres that GDA had sold to the IHC developer, the centre came up on four acres and construction is being carried out on the remaining eight.
In 2014, the Federation of Apartment Owners’ Association had filed a petition in the high court claiming that the GDA had “arbitrarily” changed the land use of the area in the Master Plan 2021. However, the GDA had managed to convince the court that there was no wrongdoing in this.