Dalmia Group wins arbitration in land case with Ansal API Group

NEW DELHI: The Dalmia Group, which has a portfolio of diverse businesses spanning cement, private equity and real estate, has won an arbitration award of Rs 160 crore over a land dispute with the Delhi-based Ansal API Group.

The Dalmias have approached the Delhi High Court for enforcement of the arbitration award that was granted by RC Lahoti, a former chief justice of India.

He was the sole arbitrator, according to court filings seen by ET. The group joined hands with Ansal API more than a decade ago through real estate arm Landmark Holdings. The two agreed to develop three townships in north India across two states but the Dalmias later decided to exit the partnership, according to the filings.

The Ansals agreed to pay the Dalmias to compensate for the latter’s economic interest in the 50:50 joint venture, according to the filings. The joint venture had accumulated more than 600 acres of land in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the filings showed. Ansal API managing director Pranav Ansal didn’t respond to queries nor did the Dalmia Group.

The Dalmias have sought interim financial relief from the high court to secure the award, as per a petition ET has reviewed. This includes a demand that Ansal API procure bank guarantees to back the award amount.

The court has instructed Ansal API to submit a list of unencumbered assets that will match the value of the award, according to the filings. Ansal API has faced financial difficulties in the recent past. Two banks had tagged loans given to the developer as nonperforming assets as per details in the company’s annual report.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of Uttar Pradesh recently ordered a forensic audit into the affairs of the Ansal Group after several homeowners complained the company had defaulted on its commitments to deliver projects.

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