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Supreme Court reserves verdict in Amrapali Housing Project case, likely to pronounce judgement on November 7

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict after hearing the issue related to sale of unused area and surplus area with respect to the floor area ratio (FAR) in the Amrapali Housing Projects case.

The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) U.U. Lalit has been hearing the case for a long time. The CJI, who is due to retire on November 8, is likely to take up the case for final hearing on November 7.

Earlier on October 22, a  Bench headed by CJI Lalit had granted interim bail to former director of Amrapali Group, Anil Sharma for two weeks on medical grounds, directing him to surrender after the expiry of the same.

The Bench had further directed Sharma to approach the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court for regular bail in the case.

Advocate M.L. Lahoti, appearing for Amrapali Wires, opposed the interim bail. The Apex Court replied that it has not given bail to the accused, but has only extended the interim protection for two weeks, which was given in August.

Appearing for Sharma, Advocate Ranjit Kumar contended that on the basis of cases registered against the accused, he was at present in custody in 24 cases. The trial was going on in the PMLA case and the statements of 2-3 witnesses have also been recorded in it.

The CJI said that out of 30 cases registered against the accused, bail has been given only in six cases. The Bench noted that Sharma was in jail in the remaining 24 cases.

The CJI asked Kumar, “In how many cases out of 24, are you seeking bail? In how many cases out of these, was bail rejected?”

Kumar replied that Sharma was seeking bail in all 24 cases.

However, the Apex Court rejected bail to company’s CFO Chandra Prakash, directing him to approach an appropriate forum for relief.

Amrapali home buyers had moved the top court in 2017, seeking various reliefs including compensation and refund of their money for delayed possession of flats.

Subsequently, several issues cropped up, including investigation by various agencies into the alleged diversion of home buyers’ money.

On October 19, the Supreme Court had said that a Bench headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit will hold a special sitting on October 22 to hear the pending issues involving the Amrapali group of companies, including the bail pleas of its former directors Anil Sharma and Shiva Priya.

The Bench of CJI Lalit and Justice Bela M. Trivedi said it will hold the court on Saturday, a non-working day, to adjudicate pending issues related to finances from the banks, along with the Noida and Greater Noida authorities’ contention on sale of floor area ratio to generate funds.

The CJI said that his tenure was coming to an end and he would not have much time to adjudicate all the pending issues of the Amrapali Group.

He said he would hear only those issues, which would give impetus to the construction of stalled projects, so that the hassled home buyers could get their flats.

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