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Top court calls Amrapali 'liar and cheater', seizes its mall, luxury hotel

Press Trust of India/ 05 Dec 18 | 08:46 PM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Amrapali Group’s five-star hotel, cinema hall, mall and luxury cars across India be attached, calling the realtor "a worst kind of cheater" and "a perfect liar" for not complying with its orders.

The court ordered the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in Delhi to also attach and auction four corporate offices of the group in Noida and Greater Noida. A fleet of luxury cars bought by the company from home-buyers' money will be seized too.

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The court gave a window to the firm's directors and their family members to return home-buyers' money by December 10. It asked the firm to explain by next week the alleged diversion of around Rs 3,000 crore of home-buyers money for other purposes.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit issued notice to the Amrapali chairman and managing director Anil Sharma, its directors, and chief financial officer and statutory auditor Anil Mittal, asking them why a criminal case for breach of trust should not be lodged against them.

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

It gave Amrapali 24 hours to hand over raw data files of the company’s business transactions, including the vouchers, receipt and the required authorisation for 2015-18, to forensic auditors appointed by the court.

The court pulled up the firm for repeatedly not complying the with its directions and not giving the data of business transactions to forensic auditors.

"You are a perfect liar. You are a first degree liar. You have not given specific information what we have asked for in our earlier orders. We are not satisfied with your affidavit and you have only tried to manipulate the things. Despite our nine orders, you have not given specific information about business transactions for period 2015-18," the bench said.

Company properties which will be attached include the five-star hotel Amrapali Holiday Inn Tech Park in Greater Noida; a FMCG company called Amrapali Biotech and Mums in Rajgir and Buxar districts of Bihar; Amrapali Mall in Gaya; Amrapali Mall in Muzaffarpur in Bihar; Amrapali Mall in Bareilly in UP; Hitech City movie hall at Meerut, UP; Amrapali Precast factory at Greater Noida and land in Purnia in Bihar and Bhubneswar in Orissa, apart from a villa in Goa.

The court while perusing the affidavit of Amrapali Group pointed out that it has invested Rs 1,100 crore of home-buyers' money in purchasing the shares of a sister company.

"How can you do it. It was not promoters’ money, if they had put in the money with the company then it is understood. But how can the home-buyers' money is used to purchase the shares. Give us all the details, who authorised to purchase the shares," the bench said.

On November 13, the court had attached the company's 100-bed multi-speciality hospital, bank accounts, a building which houses its office, and a "benami" villa in Goa for "wilful disobedience" of its orders.

The court is hearing petitions filed by home-buyers who are seeking possession of around 42,000 flats booked in projects of the Amrapali Group. 

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