New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Noida and Greater Noida authorities, including banks, for being “hand in gloves” with the beleaguered real estate major Amrapali Group and for abdicating their responsibility in monitoring the housing projects thereby leaving lakhs of home buyers in the lurch.
“It is your own doing. You have not done anything. If you had done anything, this would not have happened. If it is not hand in gloves then what it is,” Justice Arun Mishra told the Noida, Greater Noida authorities and the banks.
Pointing to the diversion of Rs 3,500 crore by the Amrapali Group as estimated by the forensic auditors, Justice Mishra said, “Rs 3,500 crore have gone away. Due to your inaction, cheating has taken place. The banks’ inaction has contributed to it. Had you taken action timely, this would not have happened.”
Referring to the 15 lakh people who have suffered in different housing projects of varied builders in Noida, Greater Noida and elsewhere, Mishra said, “Such large scale things happen only in India. Everybody is in the lurch.” He also pointed at the lack of stringent punishment which was there for other offences.
The court’s observations came in the course of the submissions by senior counsels M.L. Lahoty and Krishnan Venugopal pointing at the abdication of responsibilities by the Noida, Greater Noida authorities and the banks in the monitoring of the progress of the residential projects.
“We know what is happening. Don’t tell us,” Justice Mishra said as the counsel for the Noida and Greater Noida authorities sought to offer an explanation in response to Venugopal’s submission that there was lack of “policing” of the projects by the authorities.
Directing the banks who financed Amrapali’s projects to place before it all the records related to the financing of the projects, the court said, “Every financial institution has to ensure that the money advanced is used for the intended project and there is no diversion from one company to another company.”
The court said that no project should escape the provisions of RERA.
The forensic auditors’ reports pointed to instances where money moved from one company to another company of the Amrapali Group.
Counting Noida, Greater Noida and banks for their inaction in the face of violations by the Amrapali Group, senior counsel Lahoty pointed to the forensic auditors’ report which has “very strongly condemned the banks” for being responsible for the prevailing mess.
He pointed to the forensic auditors’ report saying that “without the active support of the banks this kind of large scale money laundering could not have happened.”