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Home buyers find solace in SC's action against Amrapali directors

Karan Choudhury/New Delhi 11 Oct 18 | 08:56 PM

Amrapali Group CMD Anil Sharma (centre) in Noida | Photo: PTI

Jay Prakash Gupta, one of the 40,000-odd home buyers of Amrapali Group’s beleaguered projects, finds solace in the fact that the Supreme Court (SC) is making sure that the owners of the company and its directors are brought to justice.

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Nearly a decade back, Gupta — and many others like him — had booked a flat in the 56-acre Centurian Park project of the group in Greater Noida West. Now, he is one of the many home buyers at the forefront of the court fight against the real estate major.

On Thursday, the SC issued a contempt notice against three directors, including the chairman and managing director of Amrapali, for defying its orders, and sought their reply in four weeks. The Bench asked the three directors — Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya, and Ajay Kumar — to be present before the station house officer of Noida Sector 62 by 8 am on October 12. Noida police will then take them to the sealed properties where the documents of the group’s 46 companies will be catalogued.

“For all of us, this gives us at least some satisfaction that the people responsible for misguiding and duping us of our money are being hauled up by courts. Otherwise, there is nothing else we have to look forward to. No one has been able to tell us when we would be getting our homes or money back," said Gupta. 

The court also directed Noida senior superintendent of police to take the three directors to Hotel Park Ascent — instead of the police lock-up — after assisting financial auditors, Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm for the next 15 days. 

ALSO READ: SC issues contempt notice against directors of Amrapali group; seeks reply

The Bench asked the auditors to complete the task of auditing the balance sheet and affairs of 46 Amrapali group companies in next 10 weeks.

Earlier in the day, the group informed the court that its nine properties in Noida, Greater Noida, and also Rajgir and Buxar in Bihar, have been sealed in compliance with the court’s order. The court had on Wednesday ordered it, after the three directors, now in police custody, said the documents related to the group’s 46 firms were stored there.

The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) has invited e-tender to complete construction as well as rectification of Amrapali’s residential projects in Noida and Greater Noida, according to a SC direction. Sources close to the development said the process might take much longer than expected.

After directions from the SC, the NBCC had decided to take over the Amrapali as well as the Jaypee projects. However, till the time work begins at the sites, nothing is certain.

ALSO READ: After sending 3 directors to custody, SC seals 9 Amrapali group properties

The public sector construction company might invest about Rs 150 billion into the two stalled projects. 

“Almost no work has started in the project that I have bought a flat in. Even if the NBCC starts the project in six months, there is no way they can complete everything in one-and-a-half or two years," said one of the buyers. 

Others have already bought other house and want the courts to help them get their money back, but at the moment they said the courts would prefer that the work in the projects started rather than arranging for refunds.

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