Amrapali Group Entered Into ‘Sham Agreements’ With Firm Linked To MS Dhoni: Auditors Tell Supreme Court
Amrapali Group had entered into “sham agreements” with Rhiti Sports Management Pvt. Ltd., which promotes brands of Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to “illegally divert” home buyers money, the forensic auditors have told the Supreme Court.
The forensic audit report accepted by the top court said Tuesday that Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt. Ltd. had paid Rs 6.52 crore, out of the total amount of Rs 42.22 crore, to RSMPL during 2009-2015.
Several agreements were entered into by Amrapali Group with RSMPL, including one of Nov. 22, 2009, under which Dhoni would make himself available to the chairman for three days along with one representative of RSMPL, it said.
“There are no documents held on record for compliance of this condition,” forensic auditors Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal said in their report.
“This clearly shows that these Agreements have just been made for payment of amounts to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited Company are Sham Agreements and made just for making payments to RSMPL,” the report said.
“We feel that home buyers’ money has been diverted illegally and wrongly to RSMPL and should be recovered from them as the said Agreement in our opinion does not stand the test of Law,” the forensic auditors have said in their finding which was noted by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit in its 270-page verdict.
In April this year, Dhoni had moved the apex court seeking protection of his ownership rights on an over 5,500-square feet penthouse he booked 10 year ago in a project of Amrapali Group.
The report said that Amrapali Sapphire paid Rs 6.52 crore on account of agreements executed by Amrapali Chairman Anil Kumar Sharma with RSMPL. “There is no resolution on record authorising Mr. Anil Kumar Sharma, CMD to enter into an agreement on behalf of all Amrapali group of Companies,” the auditors said.
The report also dealt with an agreement for sponsorship dated March 20, 2015, under which Amrapali Group of Companies got the right to advertise as logo space at various places in the 2015 edition of Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings.
“It is observed 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. No resolution in favour of Arun Pandey, Signatory of Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited is attached with the said Agreement,” the auditors said.
They said Dhoni, whose wife Sakshi Singh Dhoni was a director in Amrapali Mahi Developers Pvt. Ltd., was the brand ambassador of Amrapali Group and carried out a number of transactions with respect to endorsement of its projects. He has entered in agreements with other group companies as well.
It said Amrapali Mahi Developers Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated for development of a project in Ranchi and an Memorandum of Understanding was also entered between the parties. The auditors found that the Amrapali Sapphire Developers Private Limited has booked a flat in the name of RSMPL by passing an adjustment entry.
“However, Mr Sanjay Pandey of Rhiti Sports Management Pvt. Ltd. denied booking of any such flat. He also confirmed that neither the company nor any individual has any flat in Amrapli Group. Mr Pandey confirmed that no due diligence was carried out before accepting the brand endorsement though he informed that brand value and paying capacity was seen,” the report said.
“No Agreement was provided though it was agreed that it would be provided by March 11. Expenses were reimbursed to Rhiti Entertainment Private Limited a group company, without any agreement,” the finding of auditors said.
On Tuesday, cracking its whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by home buyers, the top court had cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group under the real estate law RERA, and ousted it from its prime properties in the NCR by nixing the land leases.
The judgement, which is first of its kind, may have far reaching consequences and impact across the country on other realtors like Unitech and Jaypee, which are facing similar litigation in the top court from hassled home buyers for not handing over possession of flats on time despite being paid the hard earned money of people.
The apex court, which directed a probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors, provided relief to over 42,000 home buyers of Amrapali group with the verdict.
It directed the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation to complete the stalled projects of the realtor, whose directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind the bars on the top court's order.