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SC Asks Amrapali Group to Explain Details of Transactions, Agreements with MS Dhoni

Court-appointed forensic auditors told the SC bench that they had detected 24 transactions between Amrapali Group and M/s Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd, which manages endorsement and advertisement rights of Dhoni.


Updated:April 30, 2019, 9:54 PM IST
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SC Asks Amrapali Group to Explain Details of Transactions, Agreements with MS Dhoni
File photo of Indian cricketer MS Dhoni.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the embattled Amrapali Group to explain by Wednesday its monetary transactions and agreements with Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the realty firm's brand ambassador between 2009 to 2015.

The top court said it wants the entire picture to be placed before it as also the explanation of each and every transactions and dealings with Dhoni. It said the group might have "cheated" Dhoni as well and that is the reason some media houses have reported about his case.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit asked the firm to submit the details by Wednesday as to how much money was transacted between Amrapali Group and Dhoni.

"By tomorrow (Wednesday), we want the entire picture before us. How much money was transacted between you and Dhoni and what were your agreements with him. How much money you have paid for the advertisements (branding). We want entire detail. You might have cheated him also that's why media houses have recently reported about his case," the bench said.

At the outset, the court-appointed two forensic auditor Pawan Agrawal and Ravi Bhatia told the bench that they have detected 24 transactions between Amrapali Group and M/s Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd, which manages endorsement and advertisement rights of Dhoni.

Agrawal told the bench that in one of the transactions around Rs 25 crore was given by Dhoni to Amrapali and there were several transactions between different group companies. Advocate M L Lahoty, appearing for home buyers, said that Dhoni's wife Sakshi Dhoni was an ex-director of the group.

The bench then asked senior advocates Geeta Luthra and Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for Amrapali, to furnish all the details by Wednesday.

Dhoni in an earlier affidavit filed in the apex court had said that he was a creditor of Amrapali Homes Projects Pvt Ltd and had entered into a joint venture agreement with it on June 14, 2011.

Under the agreement they were to create a joint venture company to develop a residential complex in Ranchi and adjoining areas in Jharkhand, he said. Dhoni said that for creating the JV an MOU was executed between Amrapali Group CMD Anil Kumar Sharma and him and has contributed Rs 25 crore as initial capital.

He said he was guaranteed and assured payment of minimum sum of Rs 75 crore to him by Amrapali.

In another affidavit, Dhoni had sought protection of his ownership rights on over 5,800-square feet penthouse he had booked 10 year ago in a Amrapali Group project.

Dhoni had moved an application in the court after receiving a notice from forensic auditors seeking clarification on certain aspects of the purchase.

He said the apex court had on December 5 last year directed the forensic auditors to issue individual notices to home buyers who booked the flats on a paltry sum.

The former team India captain said his authorised representative had given a detailed reply to the notice sent by the forensic auditors.

Dhoni said he has paid Rs 20 lakh for the property but only some work for the penthouse has been done and he has not been given the possession.

"It is respectfully submitted here that the price paid by the applicant is certainly not a paltry amount," he had said, adding that because he was associated with the Amrapali Group as its brand ambassador, he got the penthouse at a lower price.

Dhoni said that like other home-buyers and creditors, he had also been duped by the Amrapali Group.

Rhiti Sports, on the other hand, had told the court that it was an operational creditor of Amrapali Group and had entered into various agreements for endorsement promotion of brand 'Amrapali' between the year 2009 and 2015.

It had said that the endorsements agency agreements and various MOUs were executed between Amrapali Group CMD for and on behalf of all the companies, partnership firms, joint ventures doing their business under brand umbrella of Amrapali Group and M/s Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd.

"That the respondent builder Amrapali Group owes an amount in access of Rs 38.95 crore of which Rs 22.53 crore is towards the principal amount and Rs 16.42 crore towards the interest calculated at 18% simple interest per annum," Rhiti sports has said in its affidavit.

The sports management company had told the court that two agreements were entered between Amrapali Group and Dhoni in 2009 and 2012 for three years each for the brand endorsements of the real estate firm and it was agreed that all the amount payable to Dhoni was to be done through it only.

The top court, which is seized of several pleas of home-buyers seeking possession of around 42,000 flats booked in projects of the Amrapali group, also ordered attachment of personal properties of the CMD and directors — Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar.

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