National

Unitech promoter granted interim bail

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed interim bail to Unitech Ltd promoter Sanjay Chandra, who has been in jail since August 2017 for allegedly duping home buyers.

A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud granted him bail on humanitarian grounds for 30 days from the date of his release.

Parents of Mr. Chandra, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, are COVID-19 positive and have been hospitalised. The court recorded that Mr. Chandra’s father is in intensive care.

“We are of the view that a case for the grant of interim bail has been made out on humanitarian grounds, since both the parents of the applicant have tested positive for COVID-19 and having regard to their advanced age. This order is being passed only on the basis of these facts and circumstances,” the court observed in the order.

Mr. Chandra has been asked to deposit his passport in the trial court and furnish bail bonds of ₹1 lakh. He should report at the nearest local police station every Sunday and surrender on the expiry of 30 days.

New board

On January 20, in a respite to over 12,000 hassled home buyers of Unitech Ltd, the top court had allowed the Centre to take total management control of the realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors.

The apex court had approved the name of retired Haryana cadre IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik as chairman and managing director (CMD) of the new board and directed that existing board of directors of the company would stand superseded.

In January last year, the apex court refused to grant bail to Sanjay and his brother and Unitech promoter Ajay Chandra in the case relating to alleged siphoning off of home-buyers’ money.

Forensic audit

The matter pertains to a criminal case started initially by a complaint lodged in 2015 and later joined by 173 other home buyers of Unitech projects’ — ‘Wild Flower Country’ and ‘Anthea Project’ — situated in Gurugram.

In 2018, the apex court directed a forensic audit of Unitech Ltd and its sister concerns and subsidiaries by Samir Paranjpe, Partner, Forensic and Investigation Services, in M/s Grant Thornton India.

The forensic auditors, in their report, said that Unitech Ltd received around ₹14,270 crore from 29,800 home buyers, mostly between 2006 and 2014, and around ₹1,805 crore from six financial institutions, for the construction of 74 projects.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 7:35:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/unitech-promoter-granted-interim-bail/article32017345.ece

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