The top court warned that officials posted at the authorities for more than 10 years will be in trouble if its orders are not complied with.
The Supreme Court asked Noida and Greater Noida authorities Tuesday to grant completion certificates to thousands of harassed homebuyers residing in various Amrapali Projects in compliance with its verdict and warned that the officials concerned will be sent to jail if they fail to do so. It also said that project-wise list of homebuyers be provided to both the authorities within three days.
The top court warned that officials posted at the authorities for more than 10 years will be in trouble if its orders are not complied with. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit was informed by advocate Ravindra Kumar, appearing for the authorities, that they have started complying with the apex court’s July 23 verdict and have constituted a special cell to handover the completion certificates. Kumar said the authorities do not have a project wise list of homebuyers who are residing in the Amrapali Projects.
“Project wise list to be provided to Noida and Greater Noida authorities with respect to the people who are already staying in such projects,” the court ordered. Further, it warned: “You have to implement our orders or you know the repercussions. Officers who are there for last ten years are in trouble. We don’t want to say much but we know has happened there. At least 20 per cent of such employees will be in trouble. If our orders are not complied with, the concerned officials will be sent to jail.”
Kumar informed the bench that they have started providing electricity and water connection to the homebuyers as directed by the court despite there being not completion certificate. When advocate M L Lahoty, appearing for homebuyers, tried to tell the court that funds for the construction of stalled projects could be generated from various sources, the bench said, “Mr Lahoty lets do something constructive for the homebuyers. We are not paper tigers”.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjeet Banerjee, appearing for Delhi Police and Enforcement Directorate, said that they have filed their reports on the action taken against Amrapali Group CMD Anil Kumar Sharma and other directors in compliance with the verdict.
Counsel appearing for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which has been asked by the court to initiate disciplinary action against Chartered Accountant Anil Mittal who was overseeing the accounts of Amrapali Group, sought a copy of report of forensic auditors. The bench directed that copy of the forensic auditors be given to ICAI to enable them to take disciplinary action against the statutory auditor of Amrapali Group.
Counsel for the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), entrusted by the court to complete the pending projects of Amrapali Group said that initially they were given Rs 1.5 crore and now they need Rs 7.59 crore to start its further work in the pending projects.
The bench asked the NBCC to file an application and the road map as how it plans to go forward and it would deliberate it on next date of hearing. On July 23, the apex court had cracked its whip on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by homebuyers and ordered cancellation of 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 was 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 had directed a fresh probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors besides the investigation being done by Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police. It had directed the state-run NBCC to complete the stalled projects of the Amrapali Group, whose directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind the bars on the top court’s order.
The top court had also directed the Centre and state governments to ensure that appropriate action is taken against builders who have not completed their projects in Noida and Greater Noida as well as in other states. It directed the Centre and states to ensure that projects are completed in a time-bound manner as contemplated in RERA and home buyers are not defrauded, and ordered the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to give completion certificate to the home buyers of Amrapali group who are already residing in various projects.
The top court also termed the sequence of events in Amrapali group a “shocking and surprising state of affairs” where such large-scale cheating has taken place and middle and poor class home buyers were duped and deprived of their hard-earned money. It said the high-profile realtor diverted the home buyers money in other projects, played fraud on them by not adhering to the time frame to complete projects and also failed to comply with the orders of the apex court.