‘Show slight generosity’: SC reserves order on sale of FAR in Amrapali housing projects

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order in connection with a proposal to sell the unused and additional floor area ratio (FAR) in Amrapali housing projects to raise funds for the completion of unfinished projects.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and comprising Justice Bela M. Trivedi told counsel, representing the Noida and Greater Noida authorities, that the authorities must show “slight generosity” in taking burden in the matter in connection with the proposal of the court receiver to sell unused and additional floor area ratio (FAR) in Amrapali housing projects to raise funds for the completion of unfinished projects.

Senior advocate Ravindra Kumar, representing the authorities, said the proposal can create further dues. In the previous hearing, he had vehemently opposed the proposal to sell the FAR.

During the hearing, the top court noted issues which have cropped up while handling the Amrapali housing project matter were not seen in other metropolitan cities in the country.

It urged the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to take a more lenient approach in the matter, instead of hardening its stand on sale of FAR. As forensic auditor Ravi Bhatia submitted that Noida is cash-rich and it should do some corporate social responsibility in connection with Amrapali projects, Kumar vociferously opposed this contention.

After hearing detailed arguments, the bench reserved its order in connection with the selling of unused and additional FAR in Amrapali housing projects to raise funds for the completion of unfinished projects.

Kumar Mihir, counsel for Amrapali home buyers, said: “Funds should be made available for the unfinished Amrapali housing projects. Homebuyers have already waited for many years to get possession of their flats.”

In an earlier hearing, Kumar submitted that the court receiver’s proposal has to be examined in light of provision of the lease deed, the building regulations, FAR utilised/sanctioned and actual construction at site, to find out whether any vacant land or FAR or both is available. He told the apex court that unused FAR in the existing projects should be used for construction purposes.

In July, the court receiver had told the apex court that there are many instances where a portion or part of land is lying unused and without any construction. “In such cases, the available capacity of such portion of open land can be utilised in open market to generate sufficient resources for flat buyers’ benefit.”

“In his submission, the element of unused and unutilised FAR may as well be worth Rs 700 crore and if permission is granted by this court, the interested buyers may come forward for purchasing that component which is presently lying unutilised. This component in reality belongs to the home buyers and if sold, will help in carrying out construction of unfinished towers/flats,” said the top court’s order on July 25.

The receiver had submitted that the fact that the authorities were requesting for separation of such component is indicative that it is quite possible and permissible.

20221102-223605

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