6 September 2019: In a major relief to thousands of homebuyers of Jaypee Infratech (JIL), state-run housing firm NBCC on Thursday agreed to submit a revised plan for takeover of the bankrupt real estate firm’s 27 incomplete projects. A Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice AM Khanwilkar, directed NBCC to submit its proposal in a sealed envelope in three weeks. It also asked parties to continue the “interim arrangement”.
The Bench also asked NBCC to consider suggestions of all the stakeholders while drafting the plan.
The apex court on Tuesday sought NBCC’s response within two days on whether it wants to submit a revised plan for completing JIL’s unfinished projects. The direction came after additional solicitor general Madhvi Divan had suggested the court to seek response from the state-owned firm on submission of a fresh bid for taking over the stalled projects before passing any order.
Divan also told the apex court that the government will extend all necessary cooperation, including tax concessions to JIL, if NBCC was to take over the company. NBCC’s earlier plan was rejected by lenders on the ground that it was a conditional offer.
Jaiprakash Associates, the parent company of JIL, and its promoter had reiterated that they are the only ones who can complete and deliver all the 27 projects in three years and also pay off banks’ debt with “no haircut”. On August 2, the Supreme Court had in effect restrained the CoC of JIL from inviting fresh bids for two weeks and had asked parties to maintain a status quo.
The top court was hearing cross appeals filed by homebuyers of the bankrupt real estate firm and JAL and its promoters challenging the July order of the NCLAT that had allowed fresh bidding for JIL and also barred promoters from participating in the fresh auction.
JAL and Manoj Gaur, CMD of the suspended management of JIL, had challenged the NCLAT’s order that allowed fresh bidding for the firm and also barred promoters from participating in the fresh auction.
The Wish Town Home Buyers Welfare Society, which claims to have over 1,100 homebuyers of various JIL projects, had suggested that the apex court should “do complete justice” by inviting the bids in the court itself so as to get rid of the complex and cumbersome process of rounds and rounds of litigation and proceedings before the CoC, NCLT, and NCLAT.
IDBI Bank-led consortium had initiated insolvency proceedings against JIL for failing to repay debt of around `24,000 crore. The NCLT, Ahallabad, had admitted the plea. In the first round of insolvency proceedings conducted last year, the Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders. In October 2018, the RP had started second round of bidding. While state-owned NBCC’s plan to complete the pending projects was rejected by the lenders, the Adani group is also now in the fray with its unsolicited bid.