NBCC chairman Anoop Kumar Mittal. Mohd Zakir/HT
NBCC chairman Anoop Kumar Mittal. Mohd Zakir/HT

Ready to undertake projects of Amrapali group, NBCC tells SC

The SC took note of the alleged diversion of 2,765 crore by the firm and asked its auditor to submit a report

New Delhi: In some relief to around 42,000 home buyers, the state-owned construction firm NBCC on Thursday told the Supreme Court it was ready to “undertake" all the unfinished housing projects of the embattled real estate major Amrapali group. A day after it rapped the Amrapali group for failing to comply with its order, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and U.U. Lalit asked the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) to place before it a “concrete proposal" within 30 days as to how they propose to complete the projects along with a time line of work.

The top court on Wednesday cracked the whip on the Amrapali group for playing “fraud" and “dirty games" with the court and ordered attachment of all the bank accounts and movable properties of its 40 firms. It told the NBCC that funds collected by the group from home buyers would be made available to them to complete the projects and asked the builder and representatives of the buyers to assist the corporation and provide all documents.

The bench again came down heavily on the Amrapali group for its failure to comply with the court’s directions and adhering to the undertakings furnished to the court and recalled its earlier order asking the builder to deposit 250 crore.

Allowing the recall application filed by the group, the bench said that conduct of the realtor was “wholly unfair" and it was “absolutely improper" that it has not complied with the order. “You (group) have not deposited the money. How can we rely on you? Why should we trust you? You are not providing water (to home buyers who have got possession) and have no lifts. You have earned money and you are not even providing water. What kind of person are you?," the bench said.

The bench also took note of the alleged diversion of 2,765 crore by the Amrapali group and asked its auditor to find out where this money has gone and submit a report. It had observed that diversion of funds collected from investors by real estate developers was a “malady" and it want to stop this “nonsense" once and for all. The bench on Thursday asked the two chartered accountants (CAs), who were present in the court and had handled work of the group till 2015, to find out how this money was diverted or transferred by the company for utilizing the same in other projects. “You are the CA. You are supposed to be the watchdog. We want to know about movement of fund of 2,765 crore. Where that money has gone, we want to know. We want to know the complete movement of this 2,765 crore," the bench told one of the CAs who had handled the work of the group from 2008 till 2015.

“We want you to trace the entire movement of money and inform us," the bench said. The court also directed its registry to intimate the banks about its order, freezing all the bank accounts of the 40 firms of Amrapali group of companies. NBCC chairman Anoop Kumar Mittal appeared in the court in pursuance to its direction and said the corporation had issued a general advertisment inviting co-developers and that it was not specifically for the Amrapali group. The bench on Wednesday had taken umbrage as to how NBCC had issued advertisement inviting co-developers for allegedly doing work related to Amrapali group without taking approval of the apex court.

Mittal told the bench that NBCC was ready to undertake the projects of Amrapali group to complete the work and it would conduct a detailed study before making a proposal. The NBCC chairman initially told the bench that it needed 60 days time to come out with the proposal but after the court said they have to expedite the process, Mittal said the corporation would do so in 30 days. “We appreciate the gesture of the NBCC chairman who assures us that he would submit the proposal within 30 days. Let the proposal be placed before us within 30 days," the bench said.

Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary of Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, appeared before the court and said the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a committee under his chairmanship to look into the problem of home buyers of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway. He said the committee had held meetings on 25 June and 10 July after which four realtors—Amrapali, Unitech, Jaypee and 3C— were called for a meeting on 18 July to know about the status of their projects and problems faced by the buyers.