Delhi HC stays 3-year jail to Supertech MD, directs firm to pay Rs 50 lakh to homebuyer

New Delhi: In a major relief to Supertech, the Delhi High Court, on Friday (September 25), stayed National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s (NCDRC) order sentencing Supertech’s MD Mohit Arora to 3-year imprisonment. The order had also issued an arrest warrant against the head of the realty firm for failing to offer a Rs 1.75 crore refund to a homebuyer. 

In the recent order, Justice Amit Bansal has ordered Supertech to deposit Rs 50 lakh in the home buyer’s account within a week out of the outstanding Rs 1.75 crore. Meanwhile, the NCDRC order to sentence the company’s MD for three years has been stayed till the next day of the hearing which is on October 4. 

Supertech had filed a plea in the High Court to challenge NCDRC’s September 20 order that was to issue an arrest warrant against the company’s MD if it fails to pay the home buyer in full within one week. 

The case is related to a house which is located in UP’s Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Area (YEIDA). The home was jointly bought by Brigadier (retired) Kanwal Batra with his daughter Ruhi in 2013 for approximately Rs 1.03 crore. 

The real estate had promised to provide the possession by August 2014. However, the real estate company failed to deliver on time. 

Arguing on behalf of Supertech, Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi said that the NCDRC order was beyond the provisions of section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act and there was no provision it which casts vicarious liability on the MD to make him liable in criminal or civil matters in case of default by the company. 

He added that the MD was sentenced without even conducting a trial. “So the man goes to jail if the company does not comply with the order in seven days,” he argued. In response, Batra’s counsel said that the company was in repeated default of the NCDRC order and has gone back on its undertaking to the forum. Advocate Shailesh Madiyal appeared on behalf of Batra.

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