How SC stood by Amrapali homebuyers
In 2015, real estate firm Amrapali Group was at its peak—with around 50 projects spread across 24 cities. Also, former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was one of its brand ambassadors
New Delhi: In 2015, real estate firm Amrapali Group was at its peak—with around 50 projects spread across 24 cities. Also, former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was one of its brand ambassadors. However, the spell of opulence did not last long for the firm’s top management. On February 28, 2019, the Supreme Court sent the group’s CMD Anil Sharma and two directors to police custody for siphoning off money invested by the homebuyers. They continue to remain behind bars. However, their incarceration has not lessened the worries of thousands of homebuyers, who had invested their life savings in the company’s projects. The Amrapali Group had created an intricate mesh of deception, which included no customer data for thousands of homebuyers, profile funding etc.
In July 2019, the Supreme Court cracked the whip on the real estate firm for breaching the trust of the homebuyers. The verdict gave relief to over 42,000 homebuyers. The top court ordered the cancellation of the registration of the Amrapali group under real estate law RERA and took it upon itself to ensure construction of the stalled housing projects. The apex court appointed a court-receiver, senior advocate R. Venkataramani, to oversee construction and directed the state-run National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete the housing projects. The court’s receiver faced a herculean task to secure funds for the unfinished projects, against the backdrop that the real estate company had created a complex web of sham transactions.