NBCC is the project management consultant for the Amrapali projects and is responsible for the quality and timely completion of work (Representative picture)
The Enforcement Directorate on September 13 informed the Supreme Court that properties worth Rs 4.79 crore belonging to a former director with the embattled Amrapali Group, Prem Mishra, have been attached and that it is investigating other transactions by him concerning diversion of the amounts deposited by homebuyers.
Prem Mishra, a former director with the Amrapali Group, carved out a separate company and launched four real estate projects in Indore (Madhya Pradesh) after 2008. Mishra allegedly used cricketer MS Dhoni as his brand ambassador in all his projects, but never signed an agreement with him.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi was told by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for ED, that Mishra’s properties that had been attached were bought from homebuyers’ money that was diverted from the Amrapali Group with the help of fake invoices, bills and sham transactions.
The ED informed the court that forged bills, invoices were raised to divert homebuyers’ money and plots were bought for relatives and family members.
The court appointed forensic auditor Pawan Kumar Aggrawal, however, said that Rs 10.26 crore was outstanding against Prem Mishra and it is recorded in the forensic audit and the 2019 judgement of the court.
The court asked the forensic auditor to ascertain how much amount was diverted by the Amrapali Group to Prem Mishra and how much of it was spent in acquiring project assets. The top court asked Jain to furnish a copy of the ED's status report and the attachment order of properties of Mishra to the forensic auditor, so that he could collate the details and submit a report within two days.
The bench said that an official concerned of ED will assist Aggrawal in collating the relevant details with regard to Mishra.
The forensic auditor has been directed to submit the final report in a sealed cover by September 20, 2021, the next date of hearing.
Prem Mishra’s advocate Vikas Singh told the court validate his credentials and if he is found guilty he will deposit the amount and that if the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) proceedings are to go before the court then he should not be asked to appear before the enforcement directorate.
Jain objected to the submission saying that his PMLA proceedings will continue as a case has been registered.
Kumar Mihir, counsel for homebuyers, asked the court to issue notice to DHFL in addition to present list of six banks which was accepted by the court. DHFL has been put to notice and has been asked to reply within two weeks.
On the Noida and Greater Noida interest issue, the court heard the Authority present its case. The Noida authority has moved Supreme Court seeking recall of the June 10, 2020 order by which the court had capped the interest at 8 per cent to be charged by authority on the outstanding dues of land as against 15 to 23 per cent.
Meanwhile, Square Yards has withdrawn its writ in Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court on September 13 said that NBCC will have the powers to take decisions with respect to selection of channel partners.
During the last hearing on September 3, NBCC’s legal counsel had pointed to the top court that a writ petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court by a firm seeking to be appointed as channel partner for sale of housing units and commercial areas of various erstwhile Amrapali Projects at Noida and Greater Noida. The bench had directed that the said writ petition be transferred to the top court.
On September 3, the Supreme Court warned that the flat buyers of Amrapali Group, who are not clearing their dues as per the payment plan, will have their units cancelled and will be considered as unsold inventory.
A special bench of Justice U U Lalit and Ajay Rastogi had observed that the home buyers are under the impression that the court is facilitating construction of their stalled flats and managing funds and they are at a convenience to pay their dues, whenever they like.
They will have to strictly follow their payment plans else their unit will be cancelled and will be considered as unsold inventory,” the bench said. The bench while referring to home buyers said, “It’s like you have been given lassi (buttermilk) and now you want malai (cream) on top of that”.
The top court remarks came after senior advocate R Venkataramani, appointed as court receiver submitted that some mistakes have been noticed in the list of 9,538 flats, which are unclaimed or booked on a fictitious name or are a benami property and is being corrected and the final list will be published in two-three days.
On August 13, the top court had said that there are two categories of home buyers--first category is of 9,538 home buyers who have neither registered so far in the Customer Data maintained by the office of the Receiver, nor have made any payments since the judgment of this court in July 2019. It had noted, in its order, that there is a second category of 6,210 home buyers, who have registered themselves in the Customer Data but have not made any payment since the judgment of this court in July 2019.
On September 9, 2021, Amrapali Stalled Projects Investment Reconstruction Establishment (ASPIRE), which has been formed to complete the stalled projects in Noida and Greater Noida, published a notice through an advertisement in a leading newspaper.
The apex court receiver has issued notice to homebuyers in Noida projects and a separate notice will be published for buyers of Greater Noida projects shortly. In the advertisement, the Supreme Court-appointed receiver said the notice is meant for those homebuyers who have taken no steps after the apex court judgement in July 2019.
Homebuyers named in the list have not filled in their data online through Office of Receiver's website receiveramrapali.in and have also not paid any amount of their outstanding dues into UCO Bank (up to August 17) as reported to the court. "Consequently, they are to be treated as defaulters and their units are liable to be cancelled," the notice said.
Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is among over 1,800 homebuyers of Amrapali housing projects in Noida who have been asked by a Supreme Court-appointed receiver to start making payments of their outstanding dues within 15 days.
The allotment of flats booked by these homebuyers will be "automatically cancelled" if the flat owners fail to register their name in Customer Data maintained by the court receiver and also do not start making payment within 15 days from the public notice issued last week.
State-owned NBCC has been asked to complete construction of more than 20 housing projects with an estimated investment of over Rs 8,000 crore under the monitoring of a court-appointed committee.
The Supreme Court in its July 23, 2019 verdict had ordered the cancellation of the registration of the Amrapali Group under real estate law RERA, and ousted it from prime properties in the NCR by nixing the land leases.
Amrapali Group directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind bars on the Supreme Court’s order.