SC directs sealing of 9 properties of Amrapali group

The Supreme Court directed the sealing of seven properties of the Amrapali group at Noida and Greater Noida where the documents related to its 46 group companies are kept.
 
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud also ordered the sealing of two properties of the group at Rajgir and Buxar in Bihar, saying that after the sealing of these properties, its keys be handed over to the registrar of the apex court. The court directed three directors of the group, who are in police custody, to file an undertaking that no documents are kept at any other place except at these nine properties of the real estate firm. It further said that only the court appointed forensic auditors and their authorised representatives can enter the premises which are to be sealed.
 
The Supreme Court had ordered the group's three directors—Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar -- to be taken into police custody, saying that the company was playing "hide and seek" with the court and not complying with its orders of handing over all the documents to the forensic auditors. The order came on a batch of petitions filed by home buyers who are seeking possession of around 42,000 flats.
 
The two auditors -- Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal -- appointed by the court to conduct forensic audit of Amrapali Group, had said that they have not yet received all the documents, which the bench had termed as "gross violation" of its order. The bench had also questioned as to why the group has not yet handed over account books of the companies to the auditors.
 
The apex court had observed that account books of the group were finalised by their internal and statutory auditors till 2015 only and there were apparently no records of account books from then on till now.
 
The bench had also noted that as per the two auditors, documents of only two out of 46 firms - Amrapali Zodiac and Amrapali Princely Estates - were handed over to them despite court's order to provide all documents.

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