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SC sends Amrapali CMD, two Directors back to police custody

The three were set free a day earlier after sealing of seven premises of the company in Noida and Greater Noida where documents relating to the 46 companies are stocked.

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Amrapali Group

New Delhi, Oct 11 : The Supreme Court on Thursday again sent the CMD and two Directors of real estate major Amrapali to police custody till documents of all 46 group companies seized for forensics audit were sorted and catalogued.

Sending CMD Anil Kumar Sharma and Directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar to police custody, a bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “We want to know where has Rs 2,600 crore gone? What is the trail of money? Where the money has gone?”

The court said that the three will be present during cataloguing of documents, which CMD Anil Sharma said is likely to take 15 days.

The sorting and cataloguing of documents will be done in one office only at any point of time and not simultaneously in different offices.

On the completion of sorting and cataloguing in one office, the activity will shift to another office.

The three were set free a day earlier after sealing of seven premises of the company in Noida and Greater Noida where documents relating to the 46 companies are stocked.

However, as a relaxation, the bench permitted them to stay at their homes for tonight.

The three were directed to report to Station House Officer of Sector 62 police station before 8 a.m. on Friday, from where they will be taken in police custody to one of the sealed company offices to commence cataloguing of documents.

During the entire process, likely to last 15 days, de-sealed offices will function from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thereafter, the said office will be resealed by police and CMD Sharma and two others lodged in Park Accent Hotel. They will surrender their mobile phones to police during their hotel stay.

Cataloguing was ordered after forensic auditors Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Ravi Bhatia told the court that documents relating to 46 companies were stacked in gunny bags in places with no power supply or other facilities.

They told the court that unless these documents are sorted out and catalogued, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to proceed with forensic auditing of the accounts of the group’s 46 companies.

Amrapali CMD was allowed to solicit the assistance of company staff in sorting and cataloguing of documents. But it should not lead to crowding and exceed a maximum of 20 people. Internal and statutory auditors working with Amrapali group too were asked to chip in.

At the outset of the hearing, the court was told that seven offices of the Amrapali group located in Noida and Greater Noida (both in Uttar Pradesh) and two others in Buxar and Rajgir districts of Bihar have been sealed.

The court asked forensic auditors to take a call if they wished to shift the documents kept in Buxar and Rajgir to Delhi to save time.

Meanwhile, the court said that it will hear the suo motu contempt notice issued against the three company officials after four weeks.

On Tuesday, the apex court had sent the three to police custody till they handed over all documents related to their 46 companies to court-appointed forensic auditors.

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IL&FS probe: ED files case, raids 6 places, seizes foreign cash worth Rs 6 lakh

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IL&FS Financial Service

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday seized foreign currency worth Rs 6 lakh after it carried out searches at six places in different cities in connection with a case of money laundering it registered against the former Chairman and directors of the IL&FS, which is facing debt obligations to the tune of about Rs 91,000 crore, officials said.

A senior ED official said multiple teams of the agency carried out searches in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram at the residential premises of Ravi Parthasarathy, former Chairman of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd, Hari Sankaran, VC and MD of subsidiaries of IL&FS group, Ramesh Bawa and some of the other former directors of the company.

“The ED recovered foreign currency to the tune of Rs 6 lakh and also seized some documents related to property,” the official said.

However, the ED official refused to share details on whose residence the foreign currency was seized.

Searches were also conducted at the company’s Mumbai office.

The agency official said the ED has registered a money laundering case over the charges of alleged cheating and forgery on part of IL&FS group and its managing committee during 2010-2018.

The ED’s action is on the basis of a case filed with the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing under several sections of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy and forgery on the complaint of Ashish Begwani, director of New Delhi-based Enso Infrastructure.

Earlier this year, an interim report by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) also highlighted that the top executives of the IL&FS used the Employee Welfare Trust for personal gains at the cost of the company by carrying forward amendments in trust contracts without the approval of the Board of Directors.

The infrastructure lender’s crisis came to light last year following a series of defaults by its group companies on their debt obligations which accumulated to the tune of about Rs 91,000 crore.

The company has defaulted on repayment of loans to SIDBI and along with its subsidiaries.

The debt crisis at the infrastructure lender came to light following a series of defaults by its group companies beginning September last year.

Last year in October, the Central government superseded the management of the beleaguered company via an NCLT order and appointed a six-member board led by Uday Kotak, MD and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, to restore its financial solvency.

Key public sector lenders and undertakings such as the LIC and the SBI have a 25.34 per cent and 6.42 per cent stake, respectively, in the firm. The credit crunch has led to a few of the company’s subsidiaries to default in servicing some inter-corporate deposits.

Consequent to defaults, significant impact was felt in the capital market on account of the contagion effect of the IL&FS problem, prompting the government to replace the Board.

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Sensex ends losing streak, ends 403 points higher

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Sensex Nifty Equity

Mumbai, Feb 20: A slight ease in crude oil prices along with value buying and a strong rupee aided the benchmark Sensex to snap its longest consecutive sessions fall in the last eight years on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the benchmark index closed with handsome gains of over 400 points while the Nifty50 jumped past the 10,700 mark after struggling in the past sessions.

Adding to the positive momentum were the gains made by the rupee and healthy domestic investment which were supported by expectations that the US and China may resolve their trade tensions.

“Positive global markets lifted the domestic market sentiments after 2 weeks of under performance. Dovish minutes from US Fed and resumption of dialogue between US and China added positive vibes to the global market,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

“Strong inflows from DIIs, appreciation of rupee and value buying in mid and small caps helped the domestic market.”

The S&P BSE Sensex closed 403.65 points or 1.14 per cent higher at 35,756.26 from its previous close of 35,352.61, while the NSE Nifty50 ended 131.10 points or 1.24 per cent higher at 10,735.45.

Among the top gainer were Vedanta, which inched up 4.67 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, up 4.13 per cent. ONGC, NTPC and Yes Bank came next.

Sensex saw only four stocks ending in the red led by Hero Moto Corp, Hindustan Uniliver, Bajaj Auto and IndusInd Bank.

“During the penultimate hour, we saw emergence of strong buying interest, reclaiming 10,700 convincingly by adding more than 130 points to the bulls’ kitty,” said Sameet Chavan, Chief Analyst, Technical and Derivatives, Angel Broking.

Historically, Chavan said it had been observed that whenever index corrects for eight straight sessions without surpassing the previous day’s high, the ninth day becomes a reversal day or a bounce back day.

IANS

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Ericsson Case: Supreme Court holds Anil Ambani guilty of contempt

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Anil Ambani (File Photo)

New Delhi, Feb 20: The Supreme Court on Wednesday held Reliance Communication chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt in a case filed by telecom equipment maker Ericsson India.

The complainant accused Anil Ambani and others of not clearing its dues of 550 crore.

The apex court directed Anil Ambani to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson India in four weeks failing which he will be sentenced to three-month jail term. An amount of 118 crore is already deposited with the registry. The court directed this amount to be released immediately.

The court observed that Reliance Communication had no intention to pay and had “willfully” not paid Ericsson the due amount. An apology by RCom was also rejected by the top court.

A bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran directed also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on RCOM, Reliance Telecommunication and Reliance Infratel that would be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC).

In case of default the Chairman of all three companies would have to undergo sentence of one month each.

The bench ordered this as it did not accept the “unconditional apology” tendered to the court by the RCOM Chairman.

WeForNews

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