Home truths hit buyers as Amrapali probe findings go from bizarre to shocking
It has now come to light that the company’s promoters and directors built personal empires using money received from homebuyers — without spending even a single penny of their own.
Deposits taken from aspiring homebuyers were spent by these persons on a wedding, luxury cars, houses, jewellery and other such stuff, a ToI story quoted the auditors as saying. With this money, they also made investments in shares and mutual funds.
The Amrapali money trail
The audit report, which runs into more than 2,500 pages, gives a shocking account of how over Rs 3,500 crore of homebuyers’ money was diverted to wherever the group bosses wished.
CMD Anil Sharma ran Amrapali Group like a personal fiefdom in cahoots with other directors, auditors have informed the Supreme Court.
Auditors Pawan Agarwal and Ravi Bhatia told the SC they’ve detected an amount of Rs 152.24 crore which Amrapali’s director and their families diverted for paying taxes, advances for buying shares and other such expenses.
According to the auditors, it is possible to raise the money required for finishing the stuck Amrapali projects. For this, they recommend that the money diverted by the group’s bosses be brought back and further funds be raised by selling the group’s various assets, including homes.
As per their account, the total recoverable amount from Amrapali would be in the neighbourhood of Rs 9,590 crore. As much as Rs 455 crore can be recovered from the group’s directors, their kith and kin and individuals holding key managerial position in the company, the auditors have told the SC. Besides, at current market value, Rs 321.31 crore can be recovered from 5,856 flats that Amrapali had sold at throwaway prices.
From homebuyers who have either booked flats or already taken possession in as many as 14 projects of the group, an amount of Rs 3,487 crore can be recovered.
That apart, there currently are 5,229 unsold flats of Amrapali in 11 different projects which can be sold for Rs 1,958.82 crore, the auditors’ account revealed.
The account put bogus purchases in the group’s projects at Rs 1,446.68 crore. Also, the group has a liability of Rs 6,004.6 crore towards the Noida and Greater Noida authority on account of unpaid money due for land.
‘First degree crime’
People holding key managerial positions in the group, including directors, siphoned off a gigantic amount of funds — money that was lying with various group arms in the form of cash-in-hand, it has been found.
The Supreme Court had already said that Amrapali has committed a “first degree crime” by cheating thousands of homebuyers, and that everyone behind the scam will be prosecuted no matter how powerful the were.
It now wants a system in place for safeguarding homebuyers’ interest and also that of banks that have lent over 1,000 crore to the group.
The court had already clearly stated that it would not accept any justifications given by Amrapali in view of its consistently dubious conduct. How can Amrapali claim ownership of its properties when promoters/directors invested nothing from their pockets, the court asked.
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