The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court it should not have moved the National Company Law Tribunal to seek management control of realty company Unitech, Live Law reported. The court stayed the NCLT’s order of December 8, in which it allowed the government to appoint 10 interim directors to Unitech’s board as its affairs were “not being carried out honestly”.

The court will hear the matter next on January 12.

Last week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had moved the tribunal, asking it to suspend Unitech’s board of directors and the chief financial officer for mismanagement and diversion of funds.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had expressed disappointment with the tribunal for passing orders against Unitech. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had said, “The leave of this court, which is seized of the matter, should have been taken by the NCLT.”

On December 8, the tribunal had allowed the government to appoint 10 interim directors to Unitech’s board. The company’s directors were barred from carrying out their responsibilities for allegedly mismanaging funds.

Unitech is facing multiple cases filed by flat buyers, who allege that Managing Director Sanjay Chandra had duped them. The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police had arrested Chandra and his brother Ajay earlier in 2017 for allegedly cheating home buyers and siphoning off clients’ money to foreign accounts.

The real estate firm also did not complete housing projects in Greater Noida and Gurugram on time, and the company’s management did not refund the money along with interest, leaving thousands of buyers in the lurch.