The Supreme Court on Monday directed that a forensic audit report of Amrapali group be given to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Delhi Police and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI) for taking appropriate action against the company directors and auditors for allegedly siphoning off over Rs 3,000 crore of home buyers' money.
The top court directed that the forensic audit report should be handed over to the Director of Enforcement Directorate, Commissioner of Police and chairperson of ICAI, within seven days to facilitate the ongoing investigation in the case.
A forensic audit is a detailed audit of a company's records to be used in a court of law.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit also directed disbursal of Rs 7.16 crore to National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) from Rs 22.47 crore presently lying in deposit with the account maintained by the Registry of the Court towards expenditure incurred on completing some stalled projects.
"At this stage, therefore, it is directed that an amount of Rs 7.16 crores be released by the Registry of this Court in favour of NBCC within a week from today," the bench said.
With regard to grant of forensic audit report to the ED and police, the bench said, "We grant the request and direct that copies of the Report of the Forensic Auditors be given in sealed cover to the Director, Enforcement Directorate as well as to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police within seven days from today".
Similar direction was passed for ICAI, which has sought the forensic audit report for taking appropriate action against the statutory auditors of Amrapali Group.
The bench noted that Noida Authority had set up a nodal cell to disburse completion certificate to the Amrapali home buyers and redressal of other related issues.
"We direct constitution of similar Nodal Cell in respect of projects of Amrapali situated in Greater NOIDA. Both these Nodal Cells shall work under the directions of the receiver (senior advocate R Venkatramani)", the bench said.
It also directed the Nodal Cell authorities to nominate one officer each from NOIDA and Greater NOIDA of the rank of Deputy Manager, who shall be reporting to the court receiver regularly, so as to aid and assist him in the discharge of his duties.
The top court said that the court receiver shall be entitled to requisition the services of such officers and secretarial staff from NOIDA/Greater NOIDA as he deems appropriate to facilitate discharge of his duties.
"We direct all such officers/Secretarial Staff to render complete assistance to the Receiver. The Forensic Auditors shall also render full assistance to the Receiver," it said.
The bench also directed NBCC to constitute a Committee which shall always keep the receiver informed of the developments including the stages of construction, securing funds, effecting sale, alienation or any other mode of transfer of all properties of Amrapali Group attached, or unsold.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on September 11 and directed the home buyers counsel M L Lahoty to furnish within three days project wise details of the persons, who are presently residing in various apartments of the projects of Amrapali Group.
The court had on August 13 asked the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to grant completion certificates to thousands of harassed home buyers residing in various Amrapali projects in compliance with its verdict and warned that the officials concerned will be sent to jail if they fail to do so.
On July 23, the apex court had cracked its whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by home buyers and ordered cancellation of the registration of the Amrapali Group under the real estate law RERA, and ousted it from its prime properties in the NCR by nixing the land leases.
The apex court had directed a fresh probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors besides the investigation being done by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police.
It had directed the state-run NBCC to complete the stalled projects of the Amrapali Group, whose directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind the bars on the top court's order.
It directed the Centre and states to ensure that projects are completed in a time-bound manner as contemplated in RERA and home buyers are not defrauded, and ordered the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to give completion certificate to the home buyers of Amrapali group who are already residing in various projects.
The top court also termed the sequence of events in Amrapali group a "shocking and surprising state of affairs" where such large-scale cheating has taken place and middle and poor class home buyers were duped and deprived of their hard-earned money.