The Supreme Court, on September 6, 2018, allowed the Corporation Bank, which has led a consortium of banks to lend loans to the Amrapali Group, to move the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit, however, restrained the NCLT from proceeding ahead in the matter, without any express direction from the court.
Attorney general KK Venugopal, appearing for the Corporation Bank, said the bank has lent Rs 270 crores to the Amrapali Group and if it was not allowed to move the NCLT, its claim from the real estate firm will become time-barred. He said the claim of the bank will become time-barred, by November 30, 2018. The bench said ‘permission is granted’ to the bank, to move the NCLT, so that its claim did not become time-barred but the tribunal will not proceed ahead unless ‘express permission’ was granted by the court.
The apex court also identified 16 properties of the Amrapali Group for auctioning, preferably by the National Buildings Construction Corporation India Ltd (NBCC), to give the public sector undertaking (PSU) an initial corpus, to start work on the stalled projects.
The 16 properties to be sold by auction are Amrapali Homes at Vrindavan, Amrapali Homes Projects Pvt Ltd at Indore, Amrapali Homes Project Pvt Ltd at Bhubaneshwar, Sangam Colonizer at Hi-tech City, Jaipur, Ultra Home Construction Pvt Ltd at Sikkim, Udaipur, Raipur and New Raipur. Other projects to be sold by auction include the unlaunched part of Amrapali Leisure Valley and Amrapali Leisure Valley Commercial in Greater Noida, the unlaunched part of Amrapali Centurial Park Pvt Ltd and Amrapali Centurian Park Commercial.
The court also ordered a forensic audit of the real estate firm and its promoters, to gauge the extent of financial wrongdoings. NBCC offered to the court that it can start construction on the 15 stalled projects, with a capital of Rs 1,000 crores and the remaining amount of Rs 7,500 crores could be given in quarterly installments of Rs 250 crores.
The top court also brought the CMD of Amrapali Group Anil Sharma under its scanner, for declaring his assets at Rs 67 crores, as against Rs 847 crores declared in his election affidavit filed during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when he had unsuccessfully contested as a Janata Dal (United) candidate from Bihar’s Jehanabad constituency. It said the records regarding how Sharma’s assets, which were worth Rs 847 crores, have now come to be worth only Rs 67 crores in a span of just four years, have not been placed before it so far. The bench directed that forensic audit of 46 group companies of Amrapali and its directors and promoters and their spouses and children, be done in two months.