SC or­ders at­tach­ment, sale of Am­ra­pali as­sets

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

CON­TIN­U­ING its crack­down on the em­bat­tled Am­ra­pali Group, the Supreme Court on Wed­nes­day or­dered at­tach­ment and sale of the realty firm’s five-star ho­tel, cinema hall, malls and fac­to­ries across In­dia, call­ing it “a worst kind of cheater” and “a per­fect liar” for not com­ply­ing with the court's di­rec­tion. Am­ra­pali is fac­ing suits by home­buy­ers for al­leged di­ver­sion of money col­lected by some of the group’s firms. The top court also or­dered at­tach­ment of four swanky cor­po­rate of­fices of Am­ra­pali Group si­t­u­ated in Noida and Greater Noida, and asked the Debt Re­cov­ery Tri­bunal (DRT), Delhi, to auc­tion them. The top court gave a win­dow to the firm’s di­rec­tors and their fam­ily mem­bers to re­turn home­buy­ers’ money, if they have it, by De­cem­ber 10. It asked the firm to ex­plain by next week the di­ver­sion of around Rs 3,000 crore of home­buy­ers’ money for other pur­poses. The SC bench is­sued no­tice to the Am­ra­pali Group CMD Anil Sharma, ask­ing them why a crim­i­nal case for breach of trust should not be lodged against him.

Apex court calls the realty firm “a worst kind of cheater” and “a per­fect liar”

The bench of jus­tices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit is­sued sim­i­lar no­tices to Am­ra­pali Group’s di­rec­tors, CFO and statu­tory au­di­tor Anil Mit­tal.

“You (Am­ra­pali Group) are a worst kind of cheater in the world. You have cheated the home­buy­ers all along and now you want to sell the fa­cil­i­ties cre­ated for them. The fa­cil­ity area cre­ated for the home­buy­ers is not a char­ity you have done to them,” the bench said after it was told that the real es­tate firm wants to sell a nurs­ery school, an open space and a nurs­ing home to raise funds.

It gave 24-hours to the Am­ra­pali Group to hand over the raw data files of the busi­ness trans­ac­tions of the com­pany in­clud­ing the vouch­ers, re­ceipt and the re­quired au­tho­ri­sa­tion for the pe­riod of 2015-18, to the foren­sic au­di­tors ap­pointed by the court. The bench pulled up the firm for re­peated non-com­pli­ance with the court's di­rec­tion and not giv­ing the data of busi­ness trans­ac­tions for pe­riod of 2015-2018, to foren­sic au­di­tors. “You are a first de­gree liar. We are not sat­is­fied with your af­fi­davit and you have only tried to ma­nip­u­late things. De­spite nine or­ders, you have not given spe­cific in­for­ma­tion about busi­ness trans­ac­tions for pe­riod 2015-18,” the bench said.

It di­rected the DRT to auc­tion all the at­tached prop­er­ties in­clud­ing the ho­tel, malls, cor­po­rate of­fices, movie hall, fac­to­ries and lands across In­dia.

Among the prop­er­ties the court di­rected to be at­tached forth­with and auc­tioned by DRT in­clude a five-star ho­tel Am­ra­pali Hol­i­day Inn Tech Park at Greater Noida; a FMCG com­pany called Am­ra­pali Biotech and Mums si­t­u­ated in Ra­j­gir and Buxar dis­tricts of Bi­har; Am­ra­pali Malls in Gaya, Muzaf­farpur and Bareilly; Hitech City movie hall at Meerut; Am­ra­pali Pre­cast fac­tory at Greater Noida and land in Purnia in Bi­har and Bhub­nesh­war, apart from a villa in Goa. The court also or­dered at­tach­ment of a fleet of lux­ury cars bought by the com­pany from the buy­ers’ money. The court while pe­rus­ing the af­fi­davit of Am­ra­pali pointed out that it has in­vested Rs 1,100 crore of home­buy­ers' money in pur­chas­ing the shares of a sis­ter com­pany. “How can the home­buy­ers' money be used to pur­chase the shares. Give us all the de­tails, who autho­rised to pur­chase the shares,” the bench said.

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