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Supreme Court Gives Nod to NBCC to Start Work in Two Stalled Projects of Amrapali

The NBCC told the court that it has floated tenders for completion of two projects - Eden Park and Castle - of Amrapali and would start construction in the month of February.


Updated:January 25, 2019, 9:25 PM IST
Supreme Court Gives Nod to NBCC to Start Work in Two Stalled Projects of Amrapali
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday gave National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) go-ahead to complete two stalled projects of embattled real estate firm Amrapali Group.

The NBCC told the court that it has floated tenders for completion of two projects - Eden Park and Castle - of Amrapali and would start construction in the month of February.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit said that NBCC can start construction on both the projects.

Counsel for NBCC said that total cost of the project would come around Rs 8 crore.

The apex court said that it would like to hear in detail various aspects of the case including suo motu contempt, sale of unsold inventory, explanation of JP Morgan in selling of shares for Rs 140 crores on February 11.

It said that Chief Financial Officer Chander Wadhwa would also have to explain on the said date why the money of Rs 4.75 crore were transferred from his account before October 26, last year, when he first appeared before the court.

The bench asked the parties to suggest legal ways as how the registration certificate could be given to home buyers residing in various residential Amrapali Projects without the occupancy certificate.

A NBCC official, on the condition of anonymity, described the development as just the beginning and said, "We will be starting work on the two projects soon. Work would also be taken up on other projects."

On January 16, the court-appointed forensic auditors have said in their report that posh flats were booked on sums as low as Re 1, Rs 11 and Rs 12 per sq ft in the name of home buyers.

The audit had found that 23 companies were floated in the name of office boys, peons and drivers and these firms were part of Amrapali consortium and were made fronts to divert home buyers' money.

The two forensic auditors had told the apex court that they have issued notices to 655 people on whose names 'benami' flats were booked but no one was found in 122 such locations.

The interim report of forensic auditors which was submitted before the court said that Wadhwa had transferred Rs 4.75 crore to "unidentified persons" just three days before he deposed before the top court on October 26, last year.

The top court had also brought under its scanner multi-national firm JP Morgan Real Estate fund, which had invested Rs 85 crore in Amrapali Zodiac in 2010 by purchasing its share and later selling those shares to the sister companies of reality firm.

The forensic auditors pointed out that shares purchased and agreement of JP Morgan Real Estate fund and Amrapali Group were in violation of the provisions of law.

The counsel for JP Morgan, however, had said that they would explain everything to the court and urged the bench not to get prejudiced with the findings of forensic audit.

The apex court had on December 12, asked the two forensic auditors to examine the trail of around Rs 3,000 crore, the home-buyers' money allegedly spent by the Amrapali Group on buying shares of its sister companies and asset creation.

It had directed the forensic auditors to ascertain the numbers of flats which were 'benami' property, doubly booked or booked on a nominal value by Amrapali Group.

On November 13 last year, in a massive crackdown on Amrapali Group for "wilful disobedience" of its orders, the apex court had attached the company's 100-bed multi-speciality hospital, bank accounts, the building which houses its office, certain firms and a "benami" villa in Goa.

The court is seized of a batch of 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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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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