SC orders sale of realty group Amrapali’s hotel, 86 luxury cars; orders trail of Rs 3,000-cr buyers’ money
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked forensic auditors to examine the trail of around Rs 3,000 crore, the homebuyers’ money allegedly spent by the Amrapali Group on buying shares of its sister companies and creating assets .
Amrapali Group CMD Anil Sharma and directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar returned to the court a total amount of Rs 1.55 crore of homebuyers money “lying” with them.
The top court grilled several accountants of the group on how they prepared account statements submitted in court and on what basis they created the accounts this year, for the financial years 2015-16, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
It directed the forensic auditors to ascertain the numbers of flats, which were ‘benami’ property, doubly booked or booked on a nominal value by the Amrapali Group.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit directed the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Delhi, to conduct valuation of Amrapali’s five-star hotel Tech Park in Greater Noida and sell it by January end.
It questioned Sharma about the sub-leases granted to the family members of Amrapali directors and where the Rs 3,000 crore of homebuyers’ money had gone.
The bench after failing to get a satisfactory reply asked the forensic auditors Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Ravi Bhatia to examine the trail of around Rs 3,000 crore.
“More than Rs 2,990 crore was taken out from nine companies of Amrapali Group in the name of assets creation and purchase of shares of sister companies. You should examine the trail of the money as to how and where did it go, and the assets created by the fund”, the bench told the forensic auditors.
The court asked the company to file the details of the assets it created with Rs 2,990 crore and the board resolutions which allowed Rs 1,100 crore to be spent on purchasing share capital.
It directed the forensic auditors to examine whether funds were siphoned by granting subleases or if any favours were doled out in such transactions.
The court noted that after its last order to return homebuyers money, Sharma and two directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar returned Rs 1.25 crore, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, respectively.
The court sought an affidavit from Sharma and the two directors to declare that they do not have any more money of homebuyers lying with them.
The bench directed Amrapali CFO Chandra Wadhwa and statutory auditor Anil Mittal to deposit Rs 9.69 crore and Rs 27 lakh of home buyers money lying with them by January 2.
It allowed the 86 luxury cars and SUVs, which were earlier attached by the court, to be taken to the corporate offices of Amrapali Group where car dealers inspect and later sell them.
When Sharma was questioned about the sub-leases the company granted, he said the firm received over Rs 66 crore by granting sub-leases and denied any wrong doing.
“The forensic auditors should examine the sub-leases granted by Amrapali Group by the next date of hearing,” the bench said, adding the real estate firm should comply with all requests made by the forensic auditors in 24 hours.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on January 16.