In a big relief, Supreme Court has paved the way for those 25,000 homebuyers who have invested money in Jaypee Infratech Limited (JIL), to approach consumer courts against the parent company Jaypee Associates Limited (JAL) for the refund or possession of their flats. But due to the insolvency proceedings against the company they faced uncertainty.
After a batch of petitions filed by homebuyers in National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which held that JIL’s homebuyers can approach consumer forum against JAL, a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi refused a plea of JAL to stay the proceedings against it, according to a news report in ToI.
According to the national publication, appearing for the homebuyers, senior advocate Anand Grover and lawyer Debesh Panda said that JAL was wrongly trying to interpret certain observations and reasoning in the order which were out of context. It tried to make it appear as if NCDRC had actually passed the directions to the effect that possession of the flat buyers had to be handed over by JAL.
The bench said, “Indubitably, the discussion in the impugned judgment may have to be understood as only having considered the preliminary objection and not an expression of opinion on the merits of the pleas otherwise available to all the parties in the complaint.”
NCDRC, agreeing to hear their plea, had said, “Admittedly, JAL is the holding company of the JIL and as stated in the Red Herring Prospectus issued by JIL, it was largely dependent upon its promoter not only for financial support but also for execution expertise. Not only the allotment letters were issued by JAL, the entire residential project was to be planned, executed and marketed by JAL, which also committed a particular timeline for delivery of possession to the buyers. Had JAL not promoted JIL and not undertaken the aforesaid obligations, including rendering a host of services to the buyers, they might not have booked the apartments/plots. Therefore, JAL cannot be permitted to say, at this stage, that the buyers were consumers of JIL only.”