SUPREME COURT PROTECTS BUYERS AND ORDERS ARREST OF AMRAPALI GROUP DIRECTORS

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Amrapali Group of Companies (the Company) has been accused of delaying the construction of apartments and handing over their possession to home buyers in its projects in Noida and Greater Noida in Delhi national capital region. In August, 2018  the Supreme Court gave a warning that it would order the sale of “each and every property” of the Company to recover the cost of construction of pending real estate projects, The Company had earlier told the court in an affidavit that it was not in a position to complete the projects and give timely possession of flats to over 42,000 home buyers.

The Supreme Court on 12th September 2018 in the matter of Bikram Chatterji & Ors. Vs. Union of India, had ordered the Company to hand over all original account books of the Amrapali Group of Companies within 24 hours from the year 2008-2015 and 2015-2018 of the 46 Companies of the Amrapali Group.

The Company failed to comply with the Court’s Order and another Order was passed by the Court on 26th September 2018 directing the Company to hand over all the account books, original documents, the Court held that “all the account books, original documents etc. to be handed over to to the forensic auditors, not only by the Amrapali Group of Companies but also those which were in possession of the statutory auditors

Therefore, Shri Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Shri Ravi Bhatia who were appointed as forensic auditors in this case said in the Court on Tuesday,  9th October 2018, that Amrapali Group of Companies did not comply with the last Order of this Court and further stated that “as per the emails, the documents have not been handed over and only skeletal documents of two companies have been handed over on 20.11.2018, namely of Amrapali Zodiac and Amrapali Princely Estates

The Bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U U Lalit held on 9th October 2018 directed that the Directors, Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar, will remain in custody due to non-compliance of Orders passed by this Court on 12th and 26th September 2018.

The Bench further held that “We are constrained to observe that it is not only deliberate non-compliance of the order but effort is being made to fritter away the documents in utter violation of the order passed by this Court. No justification could be pointed out by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Amrapali Group of Companies for not complying with the orders passed by this Court……..considering the non-compliance evident on record, we find that there is no other way except to direct the Police to seize all the documents and to hand over the documents to the forensic auditors after seizing them from the possession of 46 Companies and their Director”.

In another matter pertaining to Unitech Ltd., Mr. Sanjay Chandra and Mr. Ajay Chandra Directors were also sent to jail in September 2017 in connection with a cheating case registered against them. With the Amprapali Directors also being sent to jail the Supreme Court has assured deceived home buyers that if they do not get the flat the said Companies will be liable to repay the sums invested.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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