New Delhi, May 27 : J.P. Morgan India on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has not committed any wrongdoing and the attachment of its properties by the Enforcement Directorate is “blatantly illegal”, as it has no role in the Amrapali Group housing scam.
The ED had informed the Supreme Court that it has attached Rs 187 crore assets of multinational firm for its alleged role in siphoning of Amrapali Group home buyers’ money.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U.U. Lalit asked the ED to file a short reply on the grievance raised by J.P. Morgan India.
J.P Morgan India, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, said the attachment of its properties was blatantly illegal as it does not have a penny worth of investment in Amrapali group. Instead, it was J.P. Morgan Singapore and Mauritius which have put the money in the real estate firm, he added. He contended that on Tuesday, ED attached the account of the firm, according to the apex court direction, to recover the money.
The bench noted it was concerned with the contention raised by a firm, which has branches all over the world and sought the ED’s short reply on the application before the next date of hearing.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing SBICAP, contended before the bench that the financial institution is examining the funding of stalled housing projects of Amrapali Group. The court replied that it will hear SBICAP next week and listed the matter on June 3.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjeet Banerjee, representing the Centre, said that the Ministry of Finance has empowered SBICAP, the fund manager, for seed funding. He urged the top court not to issue any general direction.
The bench asked Noida and Greater Noida to be more accommodating regarding the rate of interest, and if they were to remain inflexible, then it would be adverse for the real estate sector. “If you give some relaxations then all housing projects will go through,” it added.
The top court reserved the order on the issue of Floor Area Ratio (FAR), the interest levied by the Noida and Greater Noida authorities and the financing for unsold inventories.
On May 22, the Supreme Court allowed the ED to attach properties of J.P. Morgan in Amrapali case, after the agency detected Rs 187 crore as proceeds of crime.
A bench comprising Justices Mishra and Lalit ordered attachment of the property of the company along with personal properties of its directors under section 5 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the ED, contended before the bench that the officials of the agency have established the money trail, and the top court should modify its December 2019 order and allow the agency to attach the properties of J.P. Morgan and its directors.