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Auditor, who exposed Harshad Mehta scam to do Amrapali's forensic audit: SC

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 12 Sep 18 | 09:05 PM

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that the two auditors it has appointed for forensic audits of Amrapali Group companies as also the assets of its directors since 2008 are "experienced and reputed" and one of them had even exposed the infamous Harshad Mehta scam.

Mehta, a stockbroker, was charged with numerous financial crimes that took place in the Securities Scam of 1992 worth around Rs 45 bn.

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He was involved in a massive stock manipulation scheme and his firm brokered transactions between banks.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit have appointed two auditors -- Ravi Bhatia of Bhatia and Company; and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal of Sharp and Company -- to conduct the forensic audits of Amrapali Group companies.

"We have appointed two auditors to do forensic audit. One of them has investigated Harshad Mehta scam and other is equally experienced, reputed and competent", the bench said.

It directed that the documents and details including bank accounts, balance sheets of all the 46 companies including Jotindra Steel since 2008 till now should be given to forensic auditors.

The top court also appointed NBCC to develop the stalled projects and directed Debts Recovery Tribunal of Delhi to sell the unencumbered commercial properties of real estate firm Amrapali Group.

It directed an escrow account to be opened in the apex court in which amount received after sale of properties of Amrapali should be deposited and later dispersed to NBCC for starting construction of the pending projects in Group A and B Categories.

Home buyers have move the apex court seeking refund or flats from Amrapali which is facing insolvency proceedings. They have accused the realty firm of fraud and inordinate delays in giving possession of homes.

NBCC had offered to the court that it can start construction on the 15 stalled projects with a capital of Rs 10 bn and the remaining amount of Rs 75 bn could be given in quarterly installments of Rs 2.5 bn.

The top court had also brought CMD of Amrapali Group Anil Sharma under its scanner for declaring his assets worth Rs 670 million, as against Rs 8.47 bn, in his election affidavit filed during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He had unsuccessfully contested as a JD(U) candidate from Bihar's Jehanabad constituency.

The NBCC had given a proposal for completion of 15 residential projects of Amrapali having 46,575 flats at an estimated cost of Rs 85 bn in 6-36 months.

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