SC issues contempt notice against three Amrapali directors
NEW DELHI: In another major setback to the three directors, including the CMD, of the beleaguered Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court on Thursday initiated contempt proceedings against them and directed that they be placed under police surveillance for the next 15-days.
The top court had, on October 9, directed that the Chairman and Managing Director Anil Kumar Sharma and directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar be taken into police custody till they hand over all the documents of the group’s 46 firms.
The apex court clarified on Thursday that the accused will not be kept in police lockup for the night, and instead be taken to a hotel in Noida, where their phones will be seized.
The three directors were released on Wednesday night from police custody after nine properties of Amrapali Group, where bulky documents of group companies are stashed, were sealed in compliance with the top court’s order.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud allowed the three directors to stay in their home for tonight, but asked them to present themselves before the Station House Officer of Noida Sector-62 on Friday before 8 am.
The top court also fixed a 15-day limit for forensic auditors to collect, collate and catalogue the documents from 2008 till now, with regard to the 46 companies of the group from the nine properties situated in Noida and Greater Noida of Delhi-ncr, and Buxar district in Bihar.
“During the entirety of operation of cataloguing the documents of Group companies, the applicants (three directors) shall remain under police surveillance.
“We direct the SSP of Noida to see that after the operation is over for the day, they be brought to the Hotel Park Ascent in Sector-62, Noida, and taken the next day to the properties, where documents are kept,” the bench said.
The bench, while issuing the notice of contempt to the three directors for prima facie violating court’s order and thwarting the course of justice, asked the registrar of the apex court to register a separate suo motu case against them.
“We, therefore, issue a formal notice of contempt against directors of Amrapali Group and direct the registrar of the Supreme Court to register a separate suo motu contempt case to be listed on November
20. Reply to be filed in four weeks”, it said.
The court further directed that the three directors shall not use cell phones during their stay in the hotel at night without the express authorisation of police, but granted them liberty to use the phones during the daytime when they will be assisting in collating the documents of 46 Amrapali Group companies.