‘Release loans to Amrapali homebuyers’

Amounts should be released in stages, adhering to RBI norms: Supreme Court

Published - June 11, 2020 12:01 am IST - NEW DELHI

A view of the Amrapali buildings in Noida.

A view of the Amrapali buildings in Noida.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed banks and financial institutions to release the sanctioned loans without delay to beleaguered Amrapali homebuyers, including those whose accounts have been declared non-performing assets.

The order comes as a relief to hundreds of homebuyers who were “duped” after the builder “diverted” their money.

The apex court said the amounts should be released in stages, adhering to the norms fixed by the Reserve Bank of India. Lender banks should restructure the home loans on a long-term basis so that the stalled construction of residential projects is completed and homebuyers can get back on their feet.

“Projects have been stalled for the last several years. The homebuyers have obtained loans but cannot enjoy the fruits of their investment. At the same time, if projects are not completed and homebuyers are not sure of handing over of the flats, it would be difficult for them to pay bank dues till eternity. It is in the interest of homebuyers as well as banks, as they can recover money when projects are completed,” a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U.U. Lalit observed in their 38-page order.

It said disbursement of any further loans should be based on the present rate of interest fixed by the RBI.

The court order also spelt relief for the real estate sector. The Bench ordered that the Noida authorities cannot charge exorbitant rates of interest from builders for delaying the payment of outstanding premium on land given for the projects. The court capped the rate of interest at 8%.

It asked the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to restructure the payment schedule.

The court restrained lower courts and consumer forums from impleading the government-run National Buildings Construction Corporation as a party in any legal proceedings initiated in the Amrapali case. It also directed the Receiver to post progress reports on the project work on the assigned website.

Plea rejected

The court rejected a plea by Noida and Greater Noida Authorities respectively for a direction for the return of unused FAR (Floor Area Ratio).

The Noida Authority had sought the release of FAR of 98,445.77 square metres. But the court held that homebuyers have the first claim on the FAR. If not for their investment, there would not be any FAR.

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