Cricketer MS Dhoni, who was the brand ambassador for the Amrapali Group for over six years before quitting in 2016, has now dragged the debt-ridden realty firm to the Supreme Court seeking dues of nearly Rs 40 crore. In his petition, the former skipper reportedly claimed that he was the face of the company for a long time, but he was not paid his dues for the services rendered.
Dhoni attached copies of his agreements with the builder along with his petition. He had signed various agreements with the Amrapali group in 2009 to promote the company as its brand ambassador and had granted exclusive rights to the builder to use his endorsement in marketing and public relations activities, The Times of India reported.
For instance, one agreement signed between the Amrapali group and Rhiti Sports, a company that manages leading cricketers including Dhoni, established that Rhiti gave the realty firm the exclusive right to use his endorsement. Furthermore, it was categorically agreed that all the payments under the agreement would be paid to Dhoni only.
"The builder, Amrapali group, owes an amount in excess of Rs 38.95 crore of which Rs 22.53 crore is towards the principal amount and Rs 16.42 crore towards interest calculated at 18% simple interest per annum," Dhoni reportedly added.
Incidentally, his wife was also associated with charity operations of the group. Dhoni had disassociated himself from Amrapali in April 2016 after being trolled in a social media campaign launched by duped homebuyers.
The Group has admitted to diverting huge sums of money invested by 46,000 homebuyers into other projects and subsidiaries due to which Amrapali reportedly landed in a financial crisis and, in turn, could not complete its housing projects in time.
The apex court has already seized of a batch of petitions filed by disgruntled home buyers, seeking possession of around 42,000 flats that they booked in Amrapali Group's projects. Given that the court has already ordered attachment of all the Group's properties created out of homebuyers' money and asked the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Delhi, to auction them in past hearings, Dhoni, too, has knocked on its doors to protect his financial interests. To that end, he has reportedly asked the top court to earmark certain land parcels of the group for him.
Meanwhile, the noose continues to tighten around the beleaguered realty firm. Last month the Supreme Court allowed the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police to arrest Amrapali group CMD Anil Sharma in a cheating case, along with directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar. The bench of justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit also allowed Delhi Police to attach their assets.
With PTI inputs