In a recent development, the Supreme Court expressed annoyance over ‘circulation’ of forensic auditors’ report among lawyers on the embattled Amrapali Group that was submitted before the court. The court said that the hearing on plea of the homebuyers on whether the property titles can be given to them will take place from 30th April.
The court will also look into the multiple ways through which the Amrapali group diverted the money and how the stalled projects can be completed. The SC also said that the only people to be benefitted from this case are the homebuyers who have invested their hard-earned income in these projects but are yet to get the possession of their flats.
A bench of two judges, including Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U U Lalit said that it was taking “serious note” of the circulation of the report of forensic auditors among the lawyers even before it was submitted in the court and this should not have happened.
The bench also directed to keep the forensic report in a sealed cover. Also, the report that comprises of nine volumes was taken on record. The court appointed forensic auditors and directed them to finish their work by 28th April.
Both the forensic auditors, Pawan Agrawal and Ravi Bhatia, informed the court about finding that the Amrapali promoters diverted more than Rs. 3,000 crore of home buyers’ money. They also said that more than 100 shell companies were formed by the group to divert the home buyers money.
The bench of two judges said that it cannot allow public interest to be jeopardized and would like to decide as how to make the Amrapali Group liable for payment.
The bench also said that the Amrapali group has a liability of more than Rs. 5,000 crore towards the Noida and Greater Noida authority.
The Supreme Court also said that let us take the final call on the issue which has been pending for long. We will not pass piecemeal orders or interim orders now. We would like to hear the issue finally and fix the liabilities. It is the home buyers who have to be benefitted from this entire issue who have invested their money but were not given their homes.
The court further said that one who plays with the public money cannot be allowed to get away. The court allowed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Chander Wadhwa of Amrapali Group to deposit Rs 1.21 crore of home buyers money which was with him.
Earlier, the apex court directed NBCC [National Buildings Construction Corporation] to develop the stalled project of Amrapali and the firm informed the court about completion of 17 flats in two projects of the Group.
Also, the bench asked the group to keep those 17 flats under its custody.
On 28th February, the apex court allowed the Delhi police to arrest and interrogate Amrapali group’s CMD Anil Sharma in the custody along with two directors after the home buyers complained of them for cheating and duping of funds.
The top court, also ordered attachment of personal properties of CMD and directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar as it seek possession of nearly 42,000 flats.
All three of them are detained by the UP police and are kept in a hotel at Noida from 9th October 2018 for not complying with the orders of apex court are in the state of shock as the court has directed arrest on a plea by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police saying that it wanted to quiz them in a separate cheating case.
The court had taken strong exception of diversion of money of the home buyers by the directors and the real estate firm, directed the court-appointed forensic auditors to complete their detailed investigation on divergence of home buyers money by Amrapali group.
It had asked the real estate firm and its directors to either deposit the diverted money or be ready for consequences. Earlier, the apex court had grilled the CMD for the fact that Rs 94 crore of home buyers was being shown in his personal bank account.
Also, the bench had warned the CMD saying it would send him to jail for his “reluctance” in disclosing the identity of a person, who had bought company’s shares worth Rs 140 crore from the multi-national firm JP Morgan.
It had also appointed a valuer to ascertain the exact value of 5,229 unsold flats including those booked by Amrapali for just Rs 1, Rs 11 and Rs 12 and asked the valuer to submit its report.
Besides, it brought ‘The Royal Golf Link City Projects Pvt Ltd’ under its scanner and had sought its share holding pattern, names of promoters and balance-sheet.
It also asked the valuer to explain the transaction made by JP Morgan Real Estate fund and Amrapali group and how it sold the real estate firm’s shares to two little known companies ‘Neelkant’ and ‘Rudraksh’ for Rs 140 crore.
The court had allowed the NBCC to issue advertisement for the unsold flats of two Amrapali Projects — Eden Park and Castle — being constructed by it so as funds could be raised.