The Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on July 23 in the case involving the Amrapali Group was hailed by thousands of homebuyers as it ordered cancellation of its registration under RERA Act, 2016 and asked state-run NBCC to take over and complete its seven stalled housing projects. It also appointed senior advocate R Venkataramani as court receiver mandated to take any decisions to raise funds to complete the projects and pass on possession to the homebuyers in a time-bound manner.
The voluminous judgment also sprang a surprise in the form of a forensic audit report submitted to the court by auditors Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Ravinder Bhatia, duly reproduced in the judgment, which stated that Amrapali Group had entered into “sham” agreements with entities promoted by former Indian cricket skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his wife Sakshi, namely Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited.
Dhoni, who was Amrapali’s brand ambassador till April 2016, has a major stake in Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited while Sakshi is a director of Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited.
“We feel that Home Buyers money has been diverted illegally and wrongly to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and should be recovered from them as the said Agreement in our opinion do not stand the test of Law,” the forensic audit report says.
As per records, Sakshi Dhoni “received share capital in cash and all the expenses were paid in cash,” the top court said.
“We are informed verbally that this company was incorporated for development of a project in Ranchi. An MOU was also entered between the parties though we were not provided a copy of that,” the auditors added.
The report said that “Amrapali Media Vision Private Limited was created to divert funds to make movies. Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited was paid ₹24 crores for professional charges and advertisement expenses etc.”
The audited report says Rhiti received a total of ₹42.22 crores from Amrapali group between 2009-2015. Of this, Amrapali Sapphire Developers Private Limited has paid a sum of ₹6.52 Crores.
“This sum has been paid on account of Agreements executed by Anil Kumar Sharma, CMD of Amrapali Group of Companies with Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. There is no resolution on record authorizing Anil Kumar Sharma, CMD to enter into an agreement on behalf of all Amrapali group of Companies,” the auditors observed.
The report also pointed out that another “agreement” dated March 20, 2015 gave Amrapali branding rights with the Dhoni-led IPL team Chennai Super Kings. However, it found that “this Agreement is on plain paper and executed only between Amrapali and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and there are no signatories on behalf of Chennai Super Kings to this Agreement.”
Interestingly, Dhoni had also dragged the debt-ridden realty firm to the Supreme Court a few months ago seeking nearly ₹40 crore which he said was due to him for the services rendered by him as its brand ambassador for six-odd years.
“The builder, Amrapali group, owes an amount in excess of ₹38.95 crore of which ₹22.53 crore is towards the principal amount and ₹16.42 crore towards interest calculated at 18% simple interest per annum,” his petition reportedly stated.
Read the complete judgment here: