A Supreme Court bench on Wednesday was left baffled after being told by investigators that Rs 2 crores in income tax was paid for the Chief Financial Officer of the Amrapali Group.
The bench of Justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit were taken aback after being informed that Chander Wadhwa, the CFO, had been earning Rs 50,000 per month.
The top court was also told that the Amrapali Group gave a BMW car worth Rs 43 lakh to the CFO.
The bench questioned Wadhwa "Why a company clears your tax liability of Rs 20 million when your salary is just Rs 50,000 month. What were the benefits you have got from the company."
Wadhwa who had been grilled twice in as many hearings, replied that he was given a car to commute by the company in 2017 and only got professional charges besides the salary.
"Don't try to fool us. Don't even try to make mockery of the court. You will be put behind bars, if you do not disclose correct facts to this court. We cannot go on interrogating you like this. The Enforcement Directorate should look into this aspect," the bench said while observing that companies incorporated by Wadhwa acted as a conduit to divert home buyers' money from the Amrapali Group.
"By tomorrow, we want on affidavit details of the funds you have received from Amrapali Group and to which company it was transferred. You also have to disclose on whose authorisation, the money was transferred. Don't give incorrect facts, otherwise you may be held guilty for non-disclosure of facts," the court said.
The bench further added that money of innocent buyers could not be misused and asked Mauritius-based JP Morgan to file an account statement with regards to its transaction with Amrapali Group.
The Court's appointed auditors, Pawan Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Bhatia found Wadhwa remaining silent during a previous hearing on October 12. Back then, auditors said, Wadhwa told them he had lost his memory. Surprisingly, he could perfectly state his date of marriage, name of college and passing year.
The court on Wednesday was also informed of the other findings from the auditors. They said that the group may have had connections with 200-250 firms where money of home-buyers may have been transferred. The Auditors said they had found 31 companies in addition to 41 that Amrapali had disclosed as its sister companies. This, they said could fall under the provisions of the Foreign Exchangee Management Act while adding that large amounts of money was also transferred to a Mauritius based company.
"We have no iota of doubt that not only promoters, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the internal auditors of the Amrapali Group were part of the syndicate. Prima facie, we have found the relatives of promoters, CFO and internal auditors were directors in these companies, where the money was transferred," forensic auditor Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agencies.
The court-appointed forensic auditor also pointed out that in compliance with the earlier order of the court, the Amrapali Group had handed over 117 computers but 36 of them were dysfunctional and many were password-protected.
The Supreme Court is hearing petitions filed by home-buyers seeking possession of their flats in projects built by the Amrapali Group. Some 42,000 homes are yet to be handed over by the realtor.
The story of Anil Kumar, the Chief promoter of the Amrapali Group had been carried with much pomp until 2015. In fact he was referred as the poster boy of Indian real estate. But by 2015 all that changed in the wake of petitions and complaints of bounced cheques. The court later ordered the attachment of moveable and immoveable properties connected with Amrapali Group and froze accounts of 40 of its sister companies.
The hearing in the case will resume on November 13.
With Agency Inputs