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Home » IANS » Govt contests Unitech’s ‘assets larger than liability’ claim (LEAD)

Govt contests Unitech’s ‘assets larger than liability’ claim (LEAD)

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) The Unitech management on Monday informed the Supreme Court that its assets were greater than the liability and no fund infusion by the central government was needed to complete the stalled housing projects.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Unitech, submitted to a Bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, that he was in agreement with the Centre about not infusing funds to complete the projects. “Our assets are greater than liability. I agree with the Centre’s suggestion”, said Sibal.

Sanjay Chandra, one of the Unitech group promoters, could assist the new board as he had the complete knowledge of the company, Sibal said.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal contested this. “After 2016-17, no balance-sheet has been prepared by Unitech. Forensic audit has shown the money meant for projects was diverted. How is it possible to determine that the total assets exceeded the money needed in the absence of balance-sheets,” said Venugopal.

The Supreme Court has accepted the Centre’s proposal, recommending a seven-member board to take over the real estate company’s management and approved the appointment of former IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director.

Last month, the apex court had asked the Centre to take over Unitech, but it refused to infuse funds to complete projects.

The new board will file a report within two months on the resolution framework to sort out the Unitech mess, which includes recommendations on the way forward on the stalled housing projects. A retired apex court judge would be appointed to monitor preparation of the resolution framework.

The apex court also granted two-month moratorium to the new board from any legal proceedings.

Advocate M.L. Lahoti, representing nearly 5,000 Unitech homebuyers, argued that the Centre should infuse funds to complete projects, as the the value of Unitech assets was not known.

“The apex court has agreed to continue with the Justice S.N. Dhingra Committee undertaking assets’ sale, after the government takeover. Unitech has also siphoned a majority of funds meant for housing projects. In absence of balance-sheets, one can’t be sure the assets could generate funds to complete projects,” said Lahoti.

On the contrary, a group of homebuyers expressed satisfaction that Unitech had come forth with a statement on its assets.

Vivek Tyagi, president of the All India Association of Unitech Homebuyers, said, “We thank the Supreme Court for finally doing what was required to be done to safeguard homebuyers’ interest. The real good news is that assets of Unitech are more than liabilities. No homebuyer should worry, all will get refund/home.”



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