Tuesday, November 20, 2018

SC grants Amrapali last chance to come clean on diversion of home-buyers' money

Writing is very clear on the wall': SC warns Amrapali Group

Miffed by non-compliance of its various orders directing the Amrapali group to furnish all information on diversion of homebuyers’ money, the Supreme Court granted one last opportunity to the company and its directors on Tuesday to come clean and disclose all information by December 3. 
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit made it clear that no further time would be granted to them and asked the directors to be ready to face the consequences in case of non-compliance of its orders to explain the alleged siphoning off of money of 46,000-odd homebuyers to the tune of Rs 2,765 crore.

The court had in October 6 last year agreed to hear a batch of petitions filed by thousands of homebuyers against the group and had issued notice to the company. In the last one year, the court heard the case on 36 days and passed various orders and even asked state-owned National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to take over Amrapali’s unfinished projects of the group. But construction could not start because of lack of funds.

Although the court on the last hearing on November 13 directed the group to furnish all information, senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for the company, sought three weeks’ more time to comply with the SC’s order.

Advocate M L Lahoty, appearing for homebuyers, told the bench that the group had failed to comply fully with even one of the 21 orders passed by the court. He said non-cooperation of the group is delaying the proceedings and action should be taken for non-compliance.

The bench, however, agreed to give one more opportunity, and said “writing is very clear on the wall” in case of non-compliance. “We make it very clear that Amrapali Group should disclose its each and every activity since 2008 onwards related to residential, commercial, personal, official and financial projects where money was transferred,” the bench said.

The court had earlier said that time was running out for the directors and they will be sent to jail if they continued to defy its orders. It had also initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against company CMD Anil Sharma and two directors—Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumarand— for violating its order. The CMD and two directors are already under police custody without being arrested and they are not allowed to visit their homes and meet family members. They have been directed to assist the court-appointed forensic auditors during day time and spend the night in a Noida hotel.

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