NOIDA: Supertech chief R K Arora has tried to pacify frantic buyers who have booked flats in the Emerald Court towers, saying the company was ready to give refunds even if it moved the Supreme Court against the Allahabad high court’s order to demolish the two 40-storey buildings.
The towers, Apex and Ceyane, in Sector 93A were sealed by the Noida Authority on Tuesday afternoon, bringing all construction activities to a halt.
Speaking to TOI, Arora said he would move the Supreme Court in a week’s time and was hopeful of a positive ruling. “Even if the case were to be tried in the Supreme Court, we would be open to make the refunds as we would keep our litigation separate from our relationship with our customers,” he said. “The apartments are legal. We have all approvals from the Noida Authority in place and there is no way that we can be proved illegal. We are positive of a favourable judgment from the higher court.”
Appealing to buyers to have faith in the company, he said Supertech had faced “similar issues” in the past and had solved them. “We faced similar issues in Noida Extension… even then, lots of people had taken refunds, but it is advisable for people to await the Supreme Court ruling because, in that case, the buyers will be able to retain their apartments,” Arora said. But for those seeking a refund, “the payment would be initiated instantly with 14% interest compounded annually as advised by the high court,” he added.
The apartments were bought at around Rs 2,500 per sq ft rate and have now appreciated to over Rs 5,000 sq ft. Both the Apex and Ceyane projects began in 2009 and were supposed to have been completed by 2012.
Arora put the total investment by homebuyers in Apex and Ceyane at Rs 82 crore. “Even if we need to refund all buyers, we will have to pay Rs 100 crore. We have so many towers being built, we can easily accommodate all our buyers at Apex and Ceyane in other projects. But we are hopeful about the Supreme Court verdict and would like to see it to the end,” he added.
However, Arora and Supertech seemed to be speaking in two voices. At a press conference in Noida’s Sector-18, the homebuyers alleged the company continued to stonewall their requests for refunds. One of them, Divay Puri, called the company’s customer relations department, recorded the conversation and played it for all to hear.
This is how the conversation he played went.
Puri: This is Divay Puri. I’m a buyer at Emerald Court Ceyane.
Male voice at other end: Yes, Mr Puri. You called us yesterday.
Puri: Yes, I’m calling to check if you’re going to refund our money.
Voice: No, there is no refund. We’re going to the Supreme Court.
Puri: So what should we do now?
Voice: Please get in touch with our corporate office.
“We are perplexed by what exactly the builders intend to do because while they are saying they want to refund the money, they are not willing to discuss it on phone. We need to have more clarity on when we can expect refunds,” said Sudeep Manchanda, another buyer.