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Court asks Surat Diamond Bourse to furnish Rs 100-cr bank guarantee for non-payment of dues | Ahmedabad News

A court has directed the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore within seven days to a construction firm in a case of alleged non-payment of dues of Rs 631.32 crore.

The SDB has been dragged to the court by PSP Projects which built the SDB building near Surat city, known to be the world’s largest office building with 67 lakh sq ft of floor space.

The SDB, meanwhile, said on Friday that allegations made by the firm are bogus.

In an order passed on December 6, special commercial judge of Surat, Ashish Malhotra, directed the SDB “to furnish bank guarantee to the tune of Rs 100 crore within a period of seven working days from today”.

The firm alleged before the court that even after it completed the construction and handed over the possession of the building to the bourse over a year ago, the SDB management did not make the final payment of Rs 538.59 crore. With interest, the amount stood at Rs 631.32 crore, the firm added. The SDB management was neither making the payment nor rejecting the bill presented by the firm, the petition claimed.

Festive offer

The court noted that the final bill was raised after a virtual completion certificate was issued by the bourse on October 21, 2022. The bill was, thus, pending for more than a year.

The bourse has started allotting office space in the building through auction, the construction firm said. It urged the court to stay the auction because otherwise it would not be in a position to recover anything in case any award is passed.

Notably, the SDB had recently announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate its newly-built building at the Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City on December 17. The building is located at Khajod village near Surat.

When contacted, SDB Planning and Construction Committee convenor is Laljibhai Patel, said: “The allegations made by the firm are bogus. We have cleared 98 per cent of the payment against the bills submitted by the firm. Only 2 per cent of the payment is left and after verification, the money will be paid to the company.”

Maintaining that SDB will reply to the allegations in court, Patel added: “After completion of each stage of work, bills given the construction firm were cleared on time. On request of the firm, advance payment was also made to it. During Covid-19 pandemic, on request from the firm, labourers were given ration and food packets.”

Patel is the owner of Dharmanandan Diamonds firm, who had purchased Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pinstripe monogram suite in an auction for Rs 4.31 crore in 2015.

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