Supreme Court directs forensic audit of Unitech’s projects

Unitech in October last year told the court that it would like to monetize its unencumbered properties and other assets to recover money that would be used for the process of refunding buyers and completing projects that are stuck. Photo: HT

Unitech in October last year told the court that it would like to monetize its unencumbered properties and other assets to recover money that would be used for the process of refunding buyers and completing projects that are stuck. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday called for a forensic audit of 74 housing projects of Unitech Ltd that are in various stages of construction. The audit would be carried out by Grant Thornton and the projects under audit would be from 2006 onward. A bench headed by justice D.Y. Chandrachud also asked the financial auditor to place before it the draft terms of the audit and decide the time frame before the next date of hearing.

The auditor would be at liberty to obtain details such as permanent account numbers from the directors and their family members. The forensic auditor was also requested to personally appear before the court at the next hearing. The court also denied bail to Unitech’s director Sanjay Chandra, who is in jail in a case of alleged forgery lodged by buyers of a Unitech housing project in Gurugram, saying that there would be no bail for him until the completion of the audit.

The top court in August had directed a panel headed by former Delhi high court judge S.N. Dhingra to proceed with the sale of unencumbered assets of directors of the beleaguered real estate major to refund money to home buyers.

In July, the apex court permitted the auction of three properties belonging to Unitech in Agra, Varanasi and Sriperumbudur to pay back those who had booked homes with the developer.

Unitech in October last year had told the court that it would like to monetize its unencumbered properties and other assets to recover money that would be used for the process of refunding buyers and completing projects that are stuck. A list of unencumbered properties and assets was submitted to the court in a sealed cover.

The court also ordered the setting up of a website for those who have invested in Unitech’s project.

A total of 4,688 people, who have booked units in various projects undertaken by the company, are claiming a refund of ₹1,865 crore from Unitech.

The next date of hearing is 14 December.

First Published: Fri, Dec 07 2018. 07 10 PM IST

Source: Livemint