A court has directed the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 100 crore 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, making it the world’s largest office building with 67 lakh square feet of floor space.
In an order, 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 said. The SDB management was neither making the payment nor rejecting the bill presented by the firm, the petition claimed.
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 PM 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.
Then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel had in February 2015 performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the SDB and DREAM City project.
With 67 lakh square feet of floor space, the SDB is known to be the world’s largest office building, housing nearly 4,500 diamond trading offices.
The mega structure, built on a plot of 35.54 acres, has nine 15-storey towers with office spaces ranging from 300 sqft to 1 lakh sqft.