SC orders attachment of all bank accounts of 40 firms of Amrapali group

SC orders attachment of all bank accounts of 40 firms of Amrapali group
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered attachment of all bank accounts and movable properties of 40 firms of the real estate major Amrapali Group.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice U.U. Lalit came down heavily on Amrapali group of companies for playing “fraud and dirty games” with it and ordered freezing of bank accounts of all the directors of its 40 firms besides attaching their personal properties.

The court also sought details of all its bank accounts from 2008 till Wednesday, and said the group companies shall not be entitled to deal with either the bank accounts or the movable properties in any manner without its permission.

Amrapali Group was also ordered to place before it the names of chartered accountants (CAs), both external and internal, who were handling the accounts of these 40 firms.

It also summoned the chairman of National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Ltd and the secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for Thursday to explain their stand on the issue.

The bench was anguished as to how the NBCC could proceed with the matter and issue advertisement inviting co-developers for doing the work related to Amrapali group without its approval when the top court was seized of the matter.

The court taking note of alleged diversion of Rs 2,765 crore funds collected from investors by the group said it prima facie amounted to criminal breach of trust, and that it would deal with the issue after hearing the parties.

Amrapali Group is yet to hand over possession of flats to around 42,000 hassled home buyers.

The group was facing insolvency proceedings initiated by the creditor bank for not repaying the loans, and has liabilities of about Rs 3,000 crore towards authorities. It owes over Rs 1,000 crore to about 10 banks, and needs about Rs 3,000 crore to complete its ongoing projects.

The apex court has been hearing a batch of pleas filed by home buyers who have sought quashing of the National Company Law Tribunal order admitting insolvency proceedings against the Amrapali group.

Buyers belong to the low and middle-income groups and must be granted equal protection as other stakeholders — financial and operational creditors — the home buyers’ plea said.

IANS