Amrapali Case: Over 9,500 Buyers Told To Make Payments Or Lose Flats
The Supreme Court, on August 13, 2021, asked over 9,500 Amrapali homebuyers to furnish their details and start making payments to claim ownership of their flats in a matter of 15 days. In case these buyers failed to comply, NBCC, the agency selected by the top court to finish stuck Amrapali projects, would auction their flats to arrange funds to complete the pending flats.
Meanwhile, the SC-appointed court receiver has also intensified efforts to arrange funds for the completion of over 40,000 Amrapali units. While he has already received Rs 10 crore as loan from the centre's SWAMIH Fund, the receiver has also convinced a consortium of three public banks, including Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and UCO Bank, to lend money for Amrapali projects.
Senior advocate R Venkataramani is the SC-appointed receiver, exploring all possibilities to raise funds for completion of its housing projects.
"It has emerged that about 9,583 home buyers have neither registered so far in the customer data maintained by the office of the receiver, nor have made any payments, subsequent to the judgment of the court in July 2019," Venkataramani told the SC, on August 13, 2021.
Earlier in August 2021, the apex court had assured banks that lending money to the embattled builder's projects would be secure, since the work was being done under the watch of the country's apex court. “When there is sanctity of court behind every decision, then what more security would you need. We are willing to pass order that you will not insist for security,” the SC said during a hearing on August 5, 2021.
Gaurs Group To Invest Rs 2,124 Cr In Stuck Amrapali Projects
Ghaziabad-based Gaurs Group plans to invest nearly Rs 2,124 crores in various projects of the now-defunct builder Amrapali Group, to complete almost 11,000 apartments.
These units, in Centurian Park, Verona Heights and Heartbeat City projects, might be delivered in 36 months, after the tender for the same is allotted, said Manoj Gaur, CMD, Gaurs Group, a real estate developer that is also known as Gaursons and is popular majorly for its affordable housing projects. Work on these units will be executed by Gaurs Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, GaursonsHitech Infrastructure.
So far, the group has developed nearly 55 million sq ft of residential and commercial space, mainly in the National Capital Region.
The decision by CMD Manoj Gaur-headed company, will help public builder NBCC, which has been appointed by the Supreme Court (SC) to oversee the completion work at 23 Amrapali projects at an estimated expenditure of Rs 8,500 crores, to deliver flats according to its three-tier schedule.
It is worth mentioning here that company CMD Manoj Gaur has also been ranked as the 57th richest real estate developer in India, in the GROHE Hurun India Real Estate Rich List 2020.
“The government has shifted its focus towards the infrastructure segment and as a group, we have also decided to diversify. We have no large-scale real estate projects as of now and we have sold a majority of our under-construction inventory. In the Amrapali projects, we are only executing it and the responsibility of sales lies with NBCC,” Gaur told the media.
As many as 40,000 homebuyers are waiting for their homes in various Amrapali projects, some of them for more than 10 years.
NBCC To Sell Over 5,000 Units In Various Amrapali Projects
With an aim to generate funds to complete the pending homes of the embattled Amrapali Group, state-run National Building Construction Company (NBCC), is likely to announce the sale of over 5,000 units of the now-defunct builder.
The government company was directed by the Supreme Court, in 2019, to take over the pending projects of the NCR-based builder amid large-scale delays and deliver a total of 38,159 units by 2023. The sale may fetch nearly Rs 45 crore for NBCC.
Projects where these units are located include Sapphire, Silicon City, Princely Estate, Crystal Homes, Heart Beat City, Platinum, Titanium, Zodiac, Castle, Leisure Valley Villas, Golf Homes, Kingswood, Centurian Park-O2Valley, Terrace Homes, Tropical Garden, Dream Valley-Villa, etc.
ED Gets Custody Of Amrapali CFO
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started questioning Amrapali Group's chief finance officer Chandra Wadhwa, on December 19, 2020, to probe the multi-crore fraud, after getting his custody from a special court on the same day.
The central agency had earlier arrested Wadhwa from Delhi, over his involvement in the scam, involving diversion of funds of up to Rs 6,000 crores, collected by the company from over 42,000 homebuyers.
This is the third big arrest in the case, after the ED arrested the company's directors, Anil Sharma and Shiv Priya, in January 2020.
On December 15, 2020, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had, in fact, rejected the bail plea of Sharma, stating that the offences by the company bosses were committed with cool calculation.
Proceed With Sale Of Under-Construction Amrapali Projects: SC To NBCC
November 2, 2020: As agencies involved in the process devise various ways to generate enough funds to complete the housing projects of the now-defunct Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court has directed the builder responsible for the task, to continue with the sale of under-construction housing inventory of the embattled group.
Through the proposed sale, state-run NBCC, which has been appointed by the top court to complete the stuck housing projects of Amrapali, is likely to generate over Rs 2,000 crores.
The court-appointed receiver has also informed the SC that MSTC, which has been roped in by the apex court to auction the assets of the insolvent real estate developers, is also likely to generate another Rs 400 crores, by auctioning six assets of Amrapali.
Another Rs 625 crores could be received from the government’s 25,000-crore alternative stress fund. once the process to establish a non-profit company is completed by the court receiver.
SC Seeks RBI’s Participation For Stuck Amrapali Projects
October 13, 2020: The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take ‘active participation’ in the process of ensuring credit for completing stuck housing projects of the beleaguered Amrapali Group and to urge banks to lend, for completion of the Group’s pending projects.
During a hearing on October 13, 2020, the top court told the banking regulator that it should appoint an officer that might act as a facilitator between the SC-appointed receiver and the members of the Indian Banks Association, so that financial support could be arranged for the stuck projects in the fastest manner possible.
Even though the apex court has sought the RBI’s assistance to arrange funds for Amrapali’s projects though banks, lenders in the country have not been forthcoming in extending credit.
NBCC To Start Work On 19 Amrapali Projects By Oct 2020
October 5, 2020: Public builder National Building Construction Company (NBCC) plans to deliver 19 projects of the now-defunct Amrapali Group in a matter of 36 months. In various stages of construction, these projects would provide homes to over 43,000 buyers who have been waiting for their units for a long time, for over a decade in some instances. With that deadline in mind, NBCC has doubled its workforce from 6,000 to 12,000.
As banks continue to show caution while offering credit for the completion of stalled project of the beleaguered Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court, on September 21, 2020, asked the RBI to clarify if financial institutions breached any regulatory norms by doing so. Even after signing MoUs with state-run NBCC, at least five lenders have not been forthcoming in releasing the funds, citing legal limitations. So far, no money has also been released from the centre’s SWAMIH Investment Fund, which was to allocate loans to the tune of Rs 625 crores.
The SC-appointed NBCC will require an estimated Rs 8,500 crores, to complete 26 housing projects of the cash-starved Group. To ensure that the NBCC has access to liquidity to complete the stuck project within stipulated timelines, the SC had also directed home buyers to pay all dues by October 31, 2020.
Amrapali forensic audit
Forensic audits of Amrapali Group done following the directive of the Supreme Court (SC) allegedly show that the now-defunct real estate builder signed illegal agreements with New York-based JP Morgan and New Delhi-based sports management company Rhiti, to siphon off money collected from buyers of its under-construction projects.
The forensic audit has revealed that the US-based company bought Amrapali shares worth Rs 85 crore in 2010 to earn profit in the range of 75:25 ratio. These shares were later bought back by two fraud entities for Rs 140 crore operated under the names of office boys of the Noida-based builder. The company also paid Rs 38 crore of homebuyers’ money to its former brand ambassador Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s public relations manager Rhiti after signing sham deals, the forensic auditors had informed the SC.
Following the revelation, the top court on January 13, 2020, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate Amrapali top brass, who are already in police custody, and attach India-owned properties of JP Morgan.
Forensic audits indicate Amrapali floated scores of shell companies in the name of office boys, peons and drivers, which worked as fronts to divert homebuyers' money. Benami transactions were widely carried out by selling premium flats for Re 1, Rs 5 and Rs 11 per sq ft in the name of over 500 people, the audits pointed out.
Earlier, the SC had cancelled the registration of all Amrapali Group companies and lease of all its properties, after it was established that the Noida-based builder duped thousands of homebuyers and committed financial frauds running into millions. Private estimates show that 42,000 homebuyers are currently waiting for the delivery of their homes which they booked in various Amrapali projects. The Group also has a standing liability of Rs 1,000 crores to about 10 banks. Additionally, the Group owes about Rs 3,000 crores to Noida and Greater Noida authorities, the two areas where the Group has the highest number of residential projects.
The top court has entrusted state-led National Building Construction Company (NBCC) with completing all pending projects of the Group while directing the ED to probe the financial fraud committed by the developer, who was once seen as the poster-boy of affordable realty in the Noida property market. The ED had earlier filed a criminal case against the company after it received 16 complaints of financial misconduct by the company and its bosses, Anil Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar.
Bank of Baroda had in 2017 dragged the builder to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) over non-payment, following which several homebuyers moved the SC seeking justice.