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Unitech case: SC declines to direct surplus Noida land’s return

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday declined to pass any order on the plea of Noida Authority seeking claim over 277 acre surplus land allocated to crisis-hit Unitech Ltd on lease for developing housing complexes, which were, however, not built. The total worth of the land is nearly Rs 8,000 crore.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said at this stage, where a newly constituted board of directors is in the midst of a resolution plan, it could not allow Noida Authority to gain access to the surplus land.

The court told the Noida Authority that it would be appropriate to wait till the newly constituted Board of Directors of the company submits a resolution plan for the cash strapped realty firm.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the authority, submitted before the court that 347 acres of land was given in three sectors, but no construction took place on the majority of the land. Mehta contended Unitech is yet to clear dues running into thousands of crore with the Noida Authority, and at least the land, not used so far, can be returned to it.

The court observed this may affect the resolution plan, which is in progress under the new management, and it also does not favour that the dues of a public institution like Noida Authority remain pending. Mehta submitted before the court the new board may use this surplus land in its resolution plan. The court suggested that the new board may be represented by the Solicitor General in the hearings on the matter and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal can appear for the Centre.

In January this year, the apex court had approved transferring the total management control of Unitech to the Centre and appoint a new board of directors to draw a framework to begin progress on stalled housing projects.



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