The Supreme Court on Wednesday warned the Amrapali Group that they can be thrown out from their 15 prime residential properties and may transfer "lock, stock and barrel" the ownership rights to Noida and Greater Noida Authorities. Observing that it would protect the rights of thousands of home buyers and push the Amrapali Group out of the projects, the court said the Noida and Greater Noida authorities can be asked to engage any builder or developer to finish the stalled projects and sell the properties under their supervision.
The court was hearing a batch of pleas of 42,000 home buyers against the Amrapali Group which has defaulted in giving the possession of their flats.
"We see that entire Amrapali Group has failed to discharge its duties towards home buyers, authorities (Noida and Greater Noida) and banks. You (Amrapali Group) have neither completed any projects nor invested any money in the projects. We think, you are the one who should be thrown out of these properties. We will vest the rights of these properties with the Noida and Greater Noida," said a bench of justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit.
"We may throw you out from these properties and transfer its lock, stock and barrel to Noida and Greater Noida. The loans which have been secured by Amrapali Group by mortgaging the lands to the banks can be collected by the financial institutions from the directors of the company or the corporate guarantors."
The court further said it will ensure that banks do not enter the premises of these properties and home buyers get the first charge on the properties.
It said that Amrapali Group by its own admission took Rs 11,652 crore from home buyers and invested only Rs 10,630 crore from it for construction of the residential projects.
The court also questioned how Amrapali Group could mortgage the entire projects and secure loan worth thousands of crores of rupees from banks when it was only an agent to develop the property.
It asked the counsel for Noida and Greater Noida authorities to compile all necessary data as how much money has been paid by Amrapali Group till now, what is the principal lease amount and interest component project wise and how much was the land given to the group.
Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for Amrapali, said an amount of Rs 11,652 crore were collected from the home buyers and that Rs 10,630 crore was used for construction of various projects besides paying Rs 998 crore to the authorities as lease amount.
The bench asked Bhatia to explain the income taxes paid by a Group company--Stunning Construction Pvt Ltd-- of CMD Anil Kumar Sharma and other directors, saying that tax liability of directors cannot be cleared from company's fund.
Bhatia claimed that Sharma has returned Rs 5.5 crore which was paid for his income tax from the accounts of Stunning Construction while the other director Shiva Priya has said that Rs 4.3 crore tax liability paid was later adjusted towards his salary dues from the Amrapali Group.
"You file an affidavit and give us each and every detail when was your income tax paid for which assessment year and when was that money paid back. Show us the transaction. Give all details of the salary or emoluments given to the directors of the company. If any facts and figures are wrong, we will severely haul them up," the bench warned.
It posted the matter for further hearing on May 10.