Banks Release Rs 280 Crore For Completion Of Stalled Amrapali Projects, Mahendra Singh Dhoni Moves SC

A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi took note of the submission of advocate Alok Kumar, appearing for the consortium of banks, that Rs 280 crore will be released to ASPIRE, from where it will be used for funding of the incomplete projects. 
Amrapali Group.
Amrapali Group.

The Supreme Court Monday was informed that a consortium of seven banks have released Rs 280 crore to Amrapali Stalled Projects and Investment Reconstruction Establishment (ASPIRE) for completion of the incomplete projects while cricketer M S Dhoni, who was the brand ambassador of real estate group moved the top court seeking direction in the ongoing arbitral proceedings. 

A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi took note of the submission of advocate Alok Kumar, appearing for the consortium of banks, that Rs 280 crore will be released to ASPIRE, from where it will be used for funding of the incomplete projects. 

He said that the court must ensure that funds that are being put by the consortium of banks in ASPIRE are utilized for the projects for which it is meant and not used for any other purpose. 

The bench assured Kumar that the funds will be used for completing the incomplete projects, which are identified and a feasibility study has been done. 

Advocate Udhav Nanda, appearing for Dhoni, said that they have filed an interlocutory application seeking a direction in arbitral proceedings which are going on with the real estate group. 

He, however, did not clarify what kind of arbitral proceedings or what directions are needed from the court. 

The bench said that it will take up hearing the former Indian cricket team captain's application on May 9. 

The top court also asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for Enforcement Directorate, to prepare a schedule for the production of Anil Kumar Sharma, former group director of Amrapali, in different courts and said that efforts could be made that he is produced virtually through video conferencing. 

Advocate Manoj Kumar Singh, appearing for Sharma, said that his client was produced before the special PMLA court in Lucknow and has been now lodged in a jail there while the court has directed that he should be lodged in Mandoli jail here. 

“He was to undergo laser treatment at AIIMS on Monday but the Lucknow court has sent him to judicial custody in jail there and is not allowing him to be brought to Delhi, where he is undergoing treatment”, Singh said. 

The bench asked Jain to finalize a schedule about Sharma’s production before different courts in Delhi as well as in Lucknow where multiple cases are lodged against him and ensure that there are no issues related to simultaneous productions. 

On April 18, In a relief to over thousands of home buyers of Amrapali Group of Companies who have booked their flats under the subvention scheme, the Supreme Court had directed the banks that their accounts shall not be treated as “Non-Performing Assets Accounts” and no penalties shall be charged from them for default of EMI payment

The top court said that the banks will only be liable for the principal amount and the interest over it.

A Subvention Scheme in the present case is a legal agreement made between the home buyer, the developer Amrapali Group of Companies, and the banks providing the home loan.

Under the scheme, the buyer did not have to pay any amount in the form of EMI during the “No EMI period” till the completion and possession given to the home buyer.

Around 10, 000 home buyers have availed the subvention scheme but due to the “acts of omission and commission” on behalf of Amrapali Group of Companies, “they were saddled with the liability of paying the EMI towards the loan” without even getting the passion of their flat.

It had said that no banks shall impose a penalty for default committed by the flat buyers and added that the banks shall however be entitled to the principal as well as interest over it.

It added that the liability of home buyers shall arise from the date when possession is handed over and they shall discharge their liability at that time else banks can take appropriate action.

On April 4, the top court was informed that a consortium of seven banks have granted final approval to infuse Rs 1,500 crore out of which Rs 150 has been directly paid to National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

On March 28, the top court had directed the Bank of Baroda-led consortium to effectuate disbursal of Rs 1,500 crore for the construction of stalled real estate projects of Amrapali Group.  

It had noted that six banks -- Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sindh Bank, UCO Bank, and Indian Bank -- have granted in-principle approval for the disbursal of funds.

The NBCC had earlier told the top court that at present, 10 projects in Noida and 12 in Greater Noida are under execution involving 45,957 units with a sanctioned project cost of Rs 8,025.78 crore.

The apex court in its July 23, 2019, the verdict had cracked the whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by home buyers and ordered the cancellation of the registration of Amrapali Group under real estate law RERA and ousted it from prime properties in the NCR by nixing land leases.

Former group directors of Amrapali -- Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya, and Ajay Kumar -- are in prison on the top court's order.

The court had directed a probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors, providing relief to over 42,000 home buyers of Amrapali Group with the verdict.

The top court, which is trying to bring in funds for the stalled projects, had then directed the state-run NBCC to complete the stalled projects of Amrapali Group. 

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