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Not appropriate to hand over the development to NBCC & extend the benefits prayed by Amrapali group

In the face of these developments, it would not be possible for us to entertain the prayer made in the concerned interim applications either seeking recall of the orders dated 23.07.2019 and 14.10.2019 or revisit of the issue whether the Company ought to be declared as part of the Amrapali Group of Companies, more particularly because of the developments that have taken place with respect to the instant project. (Para 19)


BIKRAM CHATTERJI & ORS. V. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

Writ Petition (Civil)No.940 Of 2017

29th June 2021


The Divisional bench of Supreme Court consisting of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and, Justice Ashok Bhushan disposed the application and passed certain directions to secure the amounts receivable by the Amrapali Group of Companies through the instant projects.


A lease deed has been executed between Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (‘GNIDA’, for short) and the Company on 03.02.2011, plot bearing No.GH-06A SECTOR–TECH ZONE-IV, Greater Noida was permitted to be developed by the Company on certain conditions. It was specifically stated that the Company was a special purpose company incorporated by the consortium of following six entities against whose names the respective shareholding was mentioned.


The project to be developed by the Company was widely advertised through brochures and advertisements as ‘Amrapali La Residentia’ project, promising delivery of apartments within 36 months. Relying on the promises made in the brochure and believing the representation that the project was of ‘Amrapali Group’, various interested parties booked apartments paying booking amount running into several crores.


Writ Petition (Civil) No.940 of 2017 (Bikram Chatterji and others vs. Union of India and others) and other connected matters filed in this Court sought to highlight acts of commission and omission on part of the Amrapali Group of Companies and persons in charge of the affairs and submitted that the amounts invested by the apartment holders were siphoned away by the Amrapali Group of Companies. While entertaining these Writ Petitions, by Order dated 06.09.2018 this Court directed that 46 companies including the Company be audited by forensic auditors and its observations were quoted with approval by this Court in its Judgment dated 23.07.2019.


In the subsequent order dated 14.10.2019 passed by this Court, the objections raised on behalf of the Company were noted and it was observed:-

“We have heard Mr. Rakesh Khanna, learned senior counsel appearing for La Residentia. The finding recorded in the Judgment delivered by this Court that 632 flats or value of 19.75 per cent of the share has to be recovered from La Residentia. It is also pointed out that some cost of construction has been incurred by the La Residentia. While handing over the flats or for selling them that amount has to be paid to La Residentia and the remaining amount has to come to the Amrapali Group. We direct the La Residentia to submit an affidavit how much expenditure has been undertaken in the construction of each of the flat and total amount invested in the construction of 600 flats which are available for sale at present. They are injuncted from selling flats which are available. Let the affidavit be filed within fifteen days.” (Para 8)


The present sets of applications are required to be considered in the backdrop of the aforesaid orders passed by this Court on 23.07.2019 and 14.10.2019.


Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, learned Senior Advocate for the Association, Mr. M.L. Lahoty and Mr. Manoj V. George, learned Advocates for the applicants in the first set of applications; Mr. V. Giri, learned Senior Advocate for the Company in the second set of applications; and Mr. Janendra Kumar Chumbak, learned Advocate for the applicant in the third set.


It was submitted by Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, learned Senior Advocate:- a) The shareholding pattern in the tabular chart in I.A. No. 109882 of 2020 (Z-309* ) disclosed that the Company was one of the Amrapali Group of Companies. b) Consequently, the entire project land would be part of the assets of Amrapali Group of Companies rather than restricting the share of Amrapali Group of Companies to the extent of 19.75%. c) If the benefit as granted in the order dated 23.07.2019 was extended, all the flat buyers would stand relieved substantially asthe dues of GNIDA would stand reduced to a considerable extent in terms of the order dated 23.07.2019. d) The entire project ought to be directly under the control of the Court Receiver and the construction be undertaken through the NBCC as was directed to be done in the other projects of the Amrapali Companies.


Mr. M. L. Lahoty, learned Advocate appearing for the applicants supported the submissions advanced by Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, learned Senior Advocate. He invited the attention to the reports of the forensic auditors and so also to the order dated 28.07.2020 passed by this Court in the matter concerning “Heartbeat City”. It was submitted that the instant project and “Heartbeat City” Project stood on the same parameters and therefore similar benefits be extended to the instant project.


Mr. Manoj V. George, learned Advocate appearing for the applicants in I.A. No.114865 of 2020 (Z-318*) highlighted the predicament faced by the applicants and particularly the stand taken by the Company in its communication dated 18.01.2020.


Mr. V. Giri, learned Senior Advocate for the Company submitted:- a) Stunning was merely a shareholder in the Company and that by itself would not make the Company a part of the Amrapali Group of Companies. b) Beyond the amounts put in towards share capital, nothing was invested by the Amrapali Group of Companies; nor any part of money belonging to the flat buyers of Amrapali Group of Companies was used or utilized in the instant project. c) Though the Company was not a part of Amrapali Group of Companies, the benefit in terms of order dated 23.07.2019 ought however be extended as indicated in I.A. No.120307 of 2020 (I155*) and I.A.No.123299 of 2020 (I-158*).


Mr. Janender Kumar Chumbak, learned Advocate appearing for Religare Finvest Ltd. reiterated the submissions made in I.A.No.6397 of 2021 (Z-342*).


After Considering all these features of the matter, Court stated that:

it would not be just and proper to hand over the development at this stage to the NBCC as prayed for by the Association and the applicants supporting the Association. We, therefore, do not deem it appropriate to recall the orders dated 23.07.2019 and 14.10.2019 or to revisit the issue whether the Company could be declared to be part of the Amrapali Group of Companies. Similarly, we also do not deem it appropriate to extend the benefits as prayed for either by the Association or by the Company. We, therefore, reject the first two sets of applications. No separate orders are called for in the third set. (Para 24)


However, certain directions must be passed to secure the amounts receivable by the Amrapali Group of Companies through the instant project.

It is therefore directed:-

a) The Company shall be entitled to continue with the construction and development of the instant project;

b) 632 flats which were subject matter of Orders dated 23.07.2019 and 14.10.2019 shall be allowed to be sold by the Company to the interested persons or parties at a fair price or value, provided :-

i. all the concerned transactions including the execution of appropriate documents or deeds are counter-signed by the Court Receiver or his nominee;

ii. The price or value at which said flats are to be sold is certified by the Court Receiver to be fair and appropriate.

iii. all the amounts received by way of such transactions of sale are credited to a separate account completely under the control of the Receiver and/or his nominee;

iv. the cost of construction with respect to those 632 flats, upon due certification by the Chartered Accountants of the Company and to the satisfaction of the Receiver, shall be made over to the Company; and

v. it shall however be open to the Receiver to give such advances towards the construction of these 632 flats from and out of the amounts deposited in the account as specified hereinabove, depending upon the stage and progress of construction.

c) The injunction with respect said 632 flats, as directed in the Orders dated 23.07.2019 and 14.10.2019, shall stand modified to the extent indicated hereinabove.

d) The difference between the amounts received from the concerned flat buyers for purchase of said 632 flats and the expenditure incurred on cost of construction shall finally be credited to the general account maintained for the benefit of the flat buyers of the Amrapali Group of Companies. (Para 26)


Subsequently, all the applications under consideration stand disposed.



Swadheen Singh

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