The Supreme Court has issued a fresh directive to Supertech, the real estate company responsible for the demolition of the Noida twin towers, instructing them to disburse an additional sum of Rs 75 lakh to 15 affected homebuyers by January 15, 2024. This ruling builds upon a previous court order from July 17, which mandated Supertech to refund Rs 1.25 crore to the same group of homebuyers.
Originally, these 15 homebuyers were entitled to a total refund of Rs 7.04 crore, with an outstanding balance of Rs 75 lakh remaining unpaid.
Gaurav Agrawal, acting as the amicus curiae (friend of the court), brought the pending payment issue to the court’s attention. He recommended that the Rs 75 lakh balance should be sourced from 30 percent of the designated RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) accounts for all Supertech Limited projects. These accounts are typically reserved for covering administrative and other expenses.
Agrawal also highlighted that the refund to the homebuyers includes both the principal amount and interest, with interest payments subject to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) in accordance with income tax regulations. He urged the court to ensure Supertech complies with the TDS requirements.
In a related matter, Abraham Mathew, an attorney representing one of the homebuyers, raised concerns about Reliance Home Finance Limited (RHFL) continuing to demand loan repayments from the homebuyers, despite a previous court order prohibiting such demands. The court reiterated its prior directive to RHFL, emphasizing the need for strict adherence.
With regard to payments to other affected homebuyers, the court noted that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) is currently exploring avenues to secure investments for Supertech. A final decision on additional refund payments will be made following the conclusion of the NCLAT proceedings.
The demolition of the Noida twin towers resulted from a Supreme Court ruling on August 31, 2021. The court concluded that the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) and the builder had collaborated to construct the towers illegally, without obtaining the consent of flat owners, as required by the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act. Moreover, the construction violated guidelines concerning the minimum distance between two towers. These twin apartment blocks were erected on green space initially promised to the homebuyers of Emerald Court, a complex featuring several residential towers. The Supreme Court’s decision upheld a 2014 verdict from the Allahabad High Court, which mandated the demolition of the twin towers following legal action initiated by four senior citizens who were homebuyers at Emerald Court and who took the builder to court in 2009.