'Benami' flats booked for Re 1 per sq.ft in Amrapali projects, SC told
New Delhi : A court-appointed auditors informed the Supreme Court that posh flats which were part of Amrapali Group were booked on sums as low as Re 1, Rs 5 and Rs 11 per sq.ft in the name of over 500 people.
The forensic auditors issued notices to 655 people on whose names "benami" flats were booked but no one was found in 122 such locations, the auditors told the top court while submitting an interim report.
Two audit forensic auditors -- Pawan Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Bhatia -- told a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit that it was found that 23 firms which were part of Amrapali consortium were floated in the name of office staff. These firms were fronts to divert home buyers' money.
The auditors said that Chief Financial Officer Chander Wadhwa had transferred Rs 4.75 crore to "unidentified persons" on October 23, 2018.
On October 26, 2018, Wadhwa answered all questions of the bench and apologised for his early memory loss. On October 26, 2018, the top court had directed Wadhwa to extend full co-operation and directed Amrapali Group of companies to furnish details of all the bank accounts of its 46 companies.
The court warned Wadhwa of contempt proceedings for his action and said that he is putting spoke in the wheels of justice.
"You very well knew that questions will be asked by the court and hence you transferred the money. We want the entire tranche of money back in seven days' time," the bench said.
The auditor also told the bench that Amrapali Group had challenged the Income Tax order related to deleting of the paragraph which mentioned of Rs 200 bogus bills and vouchers for purchasing raw materials.
The court asked to present the orders of the Income Tax Department.
The agreement between JP Morgan Real Estate fund and Amrapali Group were in violation of the provisions of law, the auditors told the court.
The court warned that it may direct Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to probe the matter.
However, JP Morgan counsel told the court that it would explain everything about the agreement.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on January 24 and sought legal suggestions on the issue.
The court was hearing various petitions filed by home buyers seeking possession of over 40,000 flats booked in the projects of Amrapali Group.