A day after the Supreme Court cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group under the new real estate law, RERA, forensic auditors have told the apex court that cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Dhoni’s companies were used by Amrapali to divert the homebuyers’ money, and that money should also be recovered from them. Calling it “sham” deals, the auditors said Amrapali Group wrongly sent money to Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. Sakshi is reportedly the director of Amrapali Mahi and Dhoni holds a major stake in Rhiti.
“We feel that Home Buyers money has been diverted illegally and wrongly to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and should be recovered from them as the said Agreement in our opinion does not stand the test of Law,” Outlook quoted the forensic audit report as saying.
The report said Amrapali diverted Rs 42.22 crore to Rhiti. It also raised concerns over the 2015 agreement between Amrapali and Rhiti over the branding of Chennai Super Kings, as it had no signatories on behalf of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the brand ambassador of Amrapali Group until 2016. In March, he dragged the debt-ridden realty firm to the SC, seeking pending dues of nearly Rs 40 crore. He had signed various agreements with the Amrapali in 2009. Amrapali was also given exclusive rights to use his endorsement in marketing and for PR activities.
Meanwhile, the SC on Tuesday cancelled Amrapali Group’s registration under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the lease of its properties granted by Noida and Greater Noida authorities. It also appointed the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete all its pending projects. The bench also appointed senior advocate R Venkataramani as the court receiver in whom the rights of all the Amrapali properties will be vested after the cancellation of the lease. The bench said the home buyers’ money was diverted in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.
Meanwhile, the ED has filed a criminal case of money laundering against Amrapali Group and its promoters, who allegedly failed to give possession of flats to over 42,000 homebuyers in Noida and Greater Noida.
Manoj Sharma with agency inputs