Unitech FD scam: Six depositors to be paid from frozen accounts

GURUGRAM: In a relief to some of those who had invested in Unitech’s fixed deposit scheme, which has been under a cloud over allegations of financial impropriety, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which had earlier frozen four bank accounts of the developer, has now directed the banks to proportionally distribute the amounts deposited with them among the investors.

The order has given hope to other depositors that they too will get refund from the company. NCLT on April 20, while hearing a case filed by Madhubala Arora and five others, had directed freezing of four bank accounts of Uni tech, three in Gurgaon and one in Chennai, with the banks being directed to submit account statements with details of funds available in these accounts to the tribunal.Following this, the banks had submitted the required details. The ICICI Bank branch in Sector 14, with two accounts, reported available funds of Rs 27.32 lakh and Rs 50,123 respectively. Unitech’s account in the SBI Mehrauli Road branch reported having Rs 28.13 lakh and the SBI Chennai branch said they had Rs 3.84 lakh in Unitech’s account.

Based on these, NCLT, in its May 8 order (released on May 13), against the execution petition filed by Madhubala Arora, directed the mangers of the concerned banks to prepare drafts in favour of six petitioners and forward the same to the tribunal before the next hearing on May 16.

Arora filed her execution petition in February, after Unitech failed to executed NCLT’s July 2016 order, asking it to refund Arora her principal amount. The tribunal has now asked the developer to comply from the fund available in the frozen accounts. “Six petitioners including myself had a total of Rs 73 lakh in dues, with interest. The tribunal has directed the banks to refund the principal amount. We’ve been asked to submit details of our principal amounts,“ said Arora.

TOI had carried a story on April 14, highlighting how Unitech had floated a fixed deposit scheme in 2012 and raised Rs 600 crore from some 55,000 people, who fell for the 12% return promised. Most have lost their money, some their lives’ savings, by investing in the scheme, which was in complete violation of all norms, as the developer did not have the necessary permits to raise money in this form. RBI allows banks, NBFCs, housing finance companies and a few others to offer FDs. Unitech managing direc tors Sanjay and Ajay Chandra were arrested by EOW Gurgaon in connection with the FD scheme. They are currently out on bail.

Advocate Satvik Varma, who is representing a few depositors and who was also appearing before NCLT, said, “We had submitted Unitech’s property details. We’re seeking auction of these properties along with other assets of the company for refund of money invested by large number of people.“ Verma is seeking auction of Unitech’s property to recover depositors’ money.

Unitech, which has so far not spoken on the FD scheme and arrest of the Chandra brothers, could not be reached for comment.

 (source by:-The Economic Times)

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