Penalties of Amrapali homebuyers to be waived off by banks rules SC
New Delhi, Apr 19: The Supreme Court has ordered the banks to waive the penalties against the Amrapali homebuyers with outstanding loans. The banks have also been directed to standardise their accounts.
A Bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and Bela M Tripathi passed the order while hearing an application by the homebuyers seeking relief and to ensure that moneys made available for the completion of the housing projects.
The court had in 2019 cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group following a large scale diversion of homebuyers' money by the companies former directors.
"No penalty will be charged from the homebuyers by banks since the default was on part of the builder and not by the buyers," the Bench said.
Advocate M L Lahoty representing the homebuyers read out Clause 4 in one of the agreements signed with a homebuyer stipulating that Amrapali shall continue to make the payment of EMI till an offer of possession is given. Another clause in another MoU said that the builder will be liable to pay interest or penalty to the homebuyer for failure to make timely payments of instalments.
The Bench said that defaulting loan accounts should not be treated as non-performing assets and CIBIL scores, which play a critical role in the loan approvals of buyers should be restored. Further the Bench held that individual buyers will be free to approach respective lender banks to regularise their accounts.
The court also held that the interest of banks needs to be protected. Advocate Alok Kumar while representing the banks submitted the agreement was tripartite and his clients had to proceed against homebuyers to recover the money in the absence of the builder.
The banks were allowed to recover the principal amount with interest from homebuyers. However, the liability of homebuyers to make this payment will arise on the date when possession of flats is handed over and the banks will be within their right to take action if any homebuyer defaults on payment as per the present order, the court ordered.
The court also directed the National Buildings Construction Corporation to take all remedial steps to ensure that there are no defects in the structures that could pose danger to the lives of residents.