Unitech board recast cleared
In a respite to over 12,000 hassled homebuyers of Unitech Ltd, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Centre to take total management control of the embattled realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors.
The top court approved the name of retired Haryana cadre IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik as the chairman and managing director of the new board and directed that the existing board of directors of the company would stand superseded.
It also refused to appoint Unitech Group founder Ramesh Chandra as a member of the new board, saying it would not be appropriate at this stage.
A bench of justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah asked the new board to submit its report in two months on the resolution framework of the company.
It also approved the names of the members of the board which include A.K. Mittal, ex-CMD of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC); Renu Sud Karnad, chairman of HDFC Credila Finance Service Pvt Ltd; Jitu Virwani, CMD of Embassy Group; and Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group.
“The idea of a professional board is to allow them to take control of the company and complete the pending projects in the interest of homebuyers,” the bench said and indicated that the court would stop monitoring the Unitech matter once everything falls in place.
The top court ordered that existing management board of Unitech would stand superseded with the new board of directors taking charge.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the existing management of Unitech, said that Ramesh Chandra and an accountant should be allowed to be appointed on the new board of the company as it would be of immense help to the homebuyers because of his experience.
The bench, however, refused to agree with the contention and said that to avoid any misunderstanding, it would not be appropriate to appoint any member of the existing board on the new one.
Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra are currently lodged in Tihar jail for allegedly siphoning off homebuyers’ money.
The top court granted a two-month moratorium to the new board and granted it immunity from any legal proceedings against the company’s management.