Supreme Court or­ders seal­ing of 9 prop­er­ties of Am­ra­pali Group

Direc­tors tell court doc­u­ments re­lated to 46 firms stored in 7 lo­ca­tions UP, Bi­har

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

THE Supreme Court on Wed­nes­day or­dered the seal­ing of nine prop­er­ties of em­bat­tled real es­tate com­pany Am­ra­pali af­ter its three direc­tors, who are in po­lice cus­tody, said that the doc­u­ments re­lated to the group’s 46 firms were stored there. The three direc­tors moved an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore a bench com­pris­ing Jus­tices UU Lalit and DY Chan­drachud stat­ing that they were will­ing to hand over all the doc­u­ments but the po­lice was un­aware about which one needed to be seized.

The court’s order came a day af­ter three direc­tors of the group — Anil Ku­mar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Ku­mar — were or­dered to be taken into po­lice cus­tody and the firm was cas­ti­gated for play­ing “hide and seek” with the court by not com­ply­ing with its or­ders to hand over all the doc­u­ments to the foren­sic au­di­tors.

Th­ese direc­tors told the bench that doc­u­ments re­lated to Am­ra­pali’s 46 group com­pa­nies were kept in seven lo­ca­tions at Noida and Greater Noida and two premises — Ra­j­gir and Buxar dis­tricts in Bi­har.

“We di­rect the con­cerned po­lice, Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice of Noida and Greater Noida to seal all the seven premises in the pres­ence of th­ese direc­tors. We di­rect the Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice of Ra­j­gir and Buxar to im­me­di­ately go to th­ese (two) places and seal it,” the bench said. It fur­ther di­rected that af­ter the seal­ing of th­ese nine premises, the keys be handed over to the reg­is­trar of the apex court.

The bench also made it clear that only the court-ap­pointed foren­sic au­di­tors — Ravi Bha­tia and Pawan Ku­mar Ag­gar­wal — and per­sons au­tho­rised by them would en­ter th­ese premises af­ter they were sealed. The court also asked the three direc­tors to fur­nish an un­der­tak­ing be­fore it by Thurs­day stat­ing that all the doc­u­ments were avail­able at th­ese nine premises only and not a sin­gle doc­u­ment was ly­ing at any other place.

The three direc­tors told the bench that they be kept at po­lice sta­tion and not in the lock up dur­ing this pe­riod. “If the en­tire ex­er­cise of seal­ing of th­ese seven premises at Noida and Greater Noida will be com­pleted to­day, the pres­ence of th­ese three ap­pli­cants will not be in­sisted upon by the po­lice,” the bench said.

“If the ex­er­cise will not be com­pleted, the present sta­tus will con­tinue,” the bench said and asked the Delhi Po­lice to keep th­ese three direc­tors at the po­lice sta­tion but not in the lock up. The bench said that com­pli­ance re­port of its order be placed be­fore the court and di­rected that the three direc­tors would also re­main present be­fore it on Thurs­day.

The bench noted the sub­mis­sions of the coun­sel ap­pear­ing for the three direc­tors that the group has re­ceived e-mail from the foren­sic au­di­tors in­di­cat­ing the doc­u­ments re­quired by them. The direc­tors also told the court that com­pany wise list of all bank ac­counts were avail­able till 2015 and af­ter that, raw data was avail­able with them and they would hand over all the doc­u­ments in en­tirety. The bench di­rected that its order be tele­phon­i­cally com­mu­ni­cated to the Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice of Ra­j­gir and Buxar so that they could take ap­pro­pri­ate steps.

The court is seized of a batch of pe­ti­tions filed by home buy­ers who are seek­ing pos­ses­sion of around 42,000 flats booked in projects of the Am­ra­pali group.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, the coun­sel ap­pear­ing for the home buy­ers told the bench that the au­di­tors have given the list of doc­u­ments re­quired by them and the group should hand over, year wise and com­pany wise, the doc­u­ments of all their firms. “We will en­sure the pres­ence of th­ese three per­sons (direc­tors) when­ever the foren­sic au­di­tors want. The ba­sic idea is to have the doc­u­ments. We will have the foren­sic au­di­tors to­mor­row to know about the modal­i­ties and how would they like to pro­ceed,” the bench said.

The two au­di­tors, ap­pointed by the court to con­duct foren­sic au­dit of Am­ra­pali Group, had on Tues­day told the court that they have not yet re­ceived all the doc­u­ments. The bench had noted that as per the two au­di­tors, doc­u­ments of only two out of 46 firms — Am­ra­pali Zo­diac and Am­ra­pali Princely Es­tates — were handed over to them de­spite court’s order to pro­vide all doc­u­ments. The court had also is­sued no­tice to all th­ese com­pa­nies and their direc­tors ask­ing why con­tempt pro­ceed­ings be not ini­ti­ated against them. It had also di­rected that other direc­tors of the firm shall sur­ren­der their pass­port to the po­lice and would not leave the coun­try.

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