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Rs 150 crore out of Rs 1,500 crore paid for stalled Amrapali housing projects, SC told

The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that the first tranche of Rs 150 crore out of the total sum of Rs 1,500 crore, meant for construction of stalled Amrapali housing projects, has been directly paid to the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

A consortium of seven banks have granted final approval to infuse Rs 1,500 crore.

Senior advocate and court-appointed receiver R. Venkataramani, in a note, said: “In compliance with the order dated March 28, on March 31 the banks disbursed a sum of Rs 150 crore, though the actual requirement/request by NBCC was for Rs 540 crore. The disbursal of loan was subject to certain pre-condition compliances, as set out in the sanction letter(s) of each bank.”

Venkataramani added the remaining amount could not be released as banks said that for disbursal of funds, they would require equitable mortgage by deposit of title deeds as a pre-condition.

A bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Bela M Trivedi was told that one of the reasons is connected with observations made by the top court in its July 2019 judgment, and some clarification was sought.

“The banks have expressed genuine concern that creation of security by way of equitable mortgage by deposit of title deeds, is a precondition. That, as the order mentions that the lease stands cancelled, there is no title document as such which can be deposited with the banks, even though the lease deeds in favour of various Amrapali companies have been shared with the banks,” added the note.

The court receiver added that the judgement said all leases in favour of Amrapali Group of companies stand cancelled, which would mean that there would be no title document, which could be deposited with the banks.

It was suggested that the top court could substitute Amrapali Group of companies with the court receiver. The bench pointed out that the expression used in the judgement is “vest in court receiver” or “right of the lessee shall rest in court receiver”, and directed the authorities concerned to withdraw the lease deeds of Amrapali projects, in connection with NOIDA and Greater NOIDA, and provide them to the court receiver, for creating equitable mortgage in favour of the consortium.

On March 28, the top court directed the consortium seven banks — Bank of Baroda (Rs 300 crore), Punjab National Bank (Rs 150 crore), Bank of India (Rs 100 crore), State Bank of India (Rs 250 crore), UCO Bank (Rs 200 crore), Indian Bank (Rs 300 crore), and Punjab & Sindh Bank (Rs 200 crore) — to begin disbursing the sanctioned funds for the construction of stalled Amrapali housing projects by the next day.

The bench added that the process should begin the next day in order to ensure that NBCC receives it by March 31, for the purpose of construction.

On March 7, the Supreme Court had directed the consortium of banks to follow the footsteps of Bank of Baroda, which has issued a sanction order to grant funding for the stalled Amrapali housing projects, and take a decision on funding the projects within two days.

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