News By/Courtesy: Ayush Garg | 23 May 2020 20:08pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • SC allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach properties of Mauritius-based JP Morgan for violation of money-laundering laws
  • A bench passed the order after additional solicitor-general appearing for the ED, informed the bench that the investigation into the affairs of JP Morgan detected Rs 187 crore as proceeds of crime.
  • ML Lahoti, a lawyer for the flat buyers, said, to complete the unfinished project of Amrapali, the unsold property could fetch 2220 crores.

The Supreme Court allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach properties of JP Morgan, which was engaged in transactions with the now-defunct Amrapali Group to allegedly siphon off homebuyers' money in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and FDI norms. The ED told the top court that it has prima facie identified Rs 187 Crores in the accounts of JP Morgan, as proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and it needs permission to attach its properties to recover the same.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit told Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the Center, in the hearing held through video conferencing that there is no private player in the case. The government company NBCC is responsible for completing the projects. The work has stopped due to a lack of money. Therefore, the government will have to make arrangements for the fund. There should be no problem with this. Apart from this, a rebate of 1000 crores should be given as a GST exemption. The next hearing of the case will be on 27 May.
ML Lahoti, a lawyer for the flat buyers, said, to complete the unfinished project of Amrapali, the unsold property could fetch 2220 crores. About 5228 units are unsold. There are 398 bogus allotments as well.
Apart from this, 5856 flats were sold for less than the fixed price, which can lead to a recovery of Rs 345 crore. Lahoti said, the auction of all the properties of Amrapali could fetch around Rs 7881 crore and the assets of its directors could come to Rs 799 crore. The Supreme Court has already ordered the auction of Amrapali's properties.
During the hearing, the ED told the court about the diversion of Rs 187 crore in the JP Morgan company, on which the bench directed to seize the company's assets and take action under the Money Laundering Act. The bench has asked the Additional Solicitor General to come up with an action plan on Lahoti's suggestions. The apex court had on July 23, 2019 canceled the registration of Amrapali Group and said that NBCC will complete the pending projects of Amrapali. Amrapali's lease was also revoked by the Supreme Court. In this case a court receiver has also been appointed, which has to ensure that buyers are allotted flats. Last December, the apex court had asked the buyers to pay the outstanding dues by 31 January.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 24 May 2020 6:24am IST


Tags : Supreme Court, Amrapali Case

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