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HC stays NCDRC order for the arrest of Supertech MD Arora

Delhi High Court

Mohit-AroraThe Delhi High Court on September 24 granted protection from imprisonment to Supertech MD Mohit Arora in a case of failure to hand over a flat to a homebuyer, but said the company must pay Rs 50 lakh to the harassed consumer within a week to show its bona fides.

The court stayed the recent order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) sentencing Arora to jail for three years and issuing an arrest warrant against him for non-compliance of an earlier order in the case.

“In order to show bona fides to court, the petitioner company is directed to pay a sum of Rs 50 lakh to the respondents within one week from today,” Justice Amit Bansal directed, adding that the NCDRC order on imprisonment would remain stayed till the next hearing on October 4.

The court decided to ask Supertech to deposit the substantial amount with the homebuyer, Kanwal Batra, after being informed that Rs 1.79 crore was due to the consumer. Justice Bansal also directed both Supertech and Batra to place on record the statement of the amount due as per the NCDRC order.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing Supertech, argued that NCDRC’s September 20 order was beyond Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act and there was no provision that cast vicarious liability on the MD who was sentenced without even conducting a trial.

However, advocates Shailesh Madiyal and Vrinda Kapoor, appearing for Batra, highlighted that the company was in repeated default of the NCDRC order and had gone back on its undertaking to it.