Delhi High Court grants bail to Ajay Kumar, former director of Amrapali Group, Noida in the residential project cheating case

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Delhi High Court: A bail application was filed by the applicant seeking regular bail in various FIR’s filed under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) registered at Police Station EOW. Amit Bansal, J., granted bail and directed the applicant to be released on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- with one surety of the like amount subject to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.

FIRs were registered on the complaints of homebuyers, who have alleged that Amrapali Leisure Valley Private Limited, Amrapali Dream Valley Private Limited, and their directors/officials, including the applicant have committed offences of cheating, fraud and criminal breach of trust in respect of various residential projects in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It is alleged that despite payment of majority of the consideration amount by most of the homebuyers, the projects were either stalled/abandoned or the possession of flats was given in a highly delayed and incomplete manner. It is further alleged that the accused persons had misrepresented the fact that all the requisite permissions/sanctions were obtained from the authorities concerned, prior to accepting the booking amount from the homebuyers.

As per investigation, the data taken from the Registrar of Companies (ROC) showed that the accused company i.e., Amrapali Leisure Valley Pvt. Ltd. had last filed its audited balance sheet with the ROC for the financial year 2014-2015 and thereafter, no financial records were filed. As per the said balance sheet, out of the Rs. 1009 crores received by the accused company from homebuyers for various projects developed by it, an amount to the tune of Rs. 503.58 crores has been diverted in the form of long-term loans and advances and Rs. 65.81 crores as short-term loans and advances to the group companies of Amrapali Group and others.

The Court noted that the present applicant, along with other accused persons, was an authorised signatory in the bank accounts of the accused companies which proves that the applicant was at the helm of the financial affairs of the accused companies. As per the findings of the Forensic Auditor, the accused companies diverted huge amounts to the tune of Rs. 431.11 crores and Rs. 445.33 crores respectively, collected from homebuyers, in the form of Inter Corporate Deposits (ICDs) to other companies in the Amrapali Group. As per the Status Report filed on behalf of the State, there are 59 cases pending against the applicant.

The Court further noted that in respect of the present FIRs, the applicant was arrested on 23-06-2021 and on 10-02-2022, the applicant has been in judicial custody since 09-10-2018 in other FIRs. Therefore, he has already been incarcerated for more than five years. Even though the applicant was one of the directors in the accused companies as well as the holding company of the Amrapali Group of Companies, there are no specific allegations against the applicant being responsible for the financial matters, policy -making or the administration of the company. As per the Report of the Forensic Auditor appointed by the Supreme Court, it appears that the applicant was involved in the “construction and coordination” activities of the company. Thus, the exact role of the applicant shall be determined only after the conclusion of the trial.

The Court concluded that in the present case, the evidence is primarily documentary in nature and already within the custody of the prosecution therefore there is no likelihood of the applicant tampering with the evidence if released on bail. Also considering that the complainants are homebuyers, there is little possibility of applicant influencing or threatening the witnesses. The applicant has already deposited his passport, hence there is no possibility of him leaving the country. Considering the voluminous documents, the number of witnesses and the fact that the trial is likely to take a long time, the applicant cannot be kept under incarceration for an indefinite period. Accordingly, considering the totality of the facts and circumstances and the period of incarceration already suffered by the applicant, this Court is inclined to grant bail to the applicant subject to the following conditions:

i. The applicant shall not leave the country without the prior permission of the Court.

ii. The applicant shall appear before the Trial Court as and when the matter is taken up for hearing.

iii. The applicant shall join the investigation as and when called by the Investigating Officer (IO) concerned.

iv. The applicant shall provide his latest/fresh mobile number(s) to the IO concerned, which shall be kept in working condition at all times and shall not switch it off or change the mobile number(s) without prior intimation to the IO concerned.

v. The applicant shall provide his permanent address to the Trial Court. The applicant shall inform the Court by way of an affidavit and the IO regarding any change in his residential address.

vi. The applicant shall not indulge in any criminal activity and shall not communicate with or meet any of the prosecution witnesses or tamper with the evidence of the case.

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One comment

  • The amrapali group is a cheater company. It’s chairman should be given life time imprisonment or atleast till the possession of all the buyers is given. Moreover, he has breached the trust of good quality affordable housing as the construction is of inferior quality which is not trustworthy. It may take several lives in case of high scale earthquake.

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