Supreme Court slams Unitech with 14 pc interest for refund to 39 buyers

The apex court has directed that Unitech should pay at least 90 per cent of the total amount to these buyers within 8 weeks.

Supreme Court slams Unitech with 14 pc interest for refund to 39 buyers

In a surprise and much-welcomed move, the Supreme Court today directed Delhi-based Unitech to pay a fine equivalent to a whopping 14 per cent a year of the principal deposited by 39 buyers, retroactive from 2010, in addition to returning the principal amount.

The order means that Unitech has to pay out 14 percent a year for every year from 2010, on the principal amount of Rs 16.55 crore deposited by 39 flat buyers. This, in addition to the Rs 16.55 crore.


The apex court has directed that Unitech should pay at least 90 per cent of the total amount to these buyers within 8 weeks.

In October 2016, the Supreme Court had asked Unitech to return Rs 16.55 crore to the 39 flat buyers in its Vista project. At the time, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Unitech, told the court that construction was underway on the 39 buyers'flats and that they would be handed over to them in April this year. He also pleaded with the SC to grant six months to the firm to complete the project.

However, the bench refused to grant more time after the buyers "unequivocally and categorically" turned down the company's proposal. "The company by delaying or procrastinating the completion of the flats cannot base its stand on excuses or any subterfuge to advance the stand that constructions take time. The submission in a way rests upon the metaphor that `Rome was not built in a day' but serves no purpose. It is `flat' or `money'. And nothing else. They collectively make a demand for refund of money because they have fought the litigation with ceaseless vigour and enormous hope," the top court said.

The bench also warned real estate companies not to play with people's dreams of owning a house by reneging on their promise of delivering flats in time and instead, making them run from pillar to post to get back their hard-earned money.

"It needs no special emphasis to state that the property developer has to respect the contractual commitment. It has to live up to the terms of the contract and gain trust so that the people who dream of houses can repose faith in him. Not for nothing, it has been said, the foundation of any economy is faith and if faith is lost, everything is lost," the SC bench said.

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