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Amrapali Had ‘Sham Deals’ With Firms Linked to Dhoni, Wife: Report

The companies in question are Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited.

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Forensic auditors appointed by the Supreme Court in the Amrapali case have pointed out that the group entered into "sham agreements" with two companies associated with cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Dhoni, Outlook reported on Tuesday, 23 July.

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WHAT DO THESE TWO COMPANIES DO?

The companies in question are Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited, in which Dhoni is said to have a major stake, and Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited (AMDPL), where Sakshi Dhoni is a director and has a 25 percent stake.

"We feel that Home Buyers money has been diverted illegally and wrongly to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and should be recovered from them as the said Agreement in our opinion do not stand the test of Law," Outlook quoted the forensic audit report as saying in the case.

According to the audit report, Amrapali group gave Rs 42.22 crore to Rhiti from 2009 till 2015.

The audit report further sheds light on a 2015 agreement between Amrapali and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited on branding rights concerning Chennai Super Kings, but it observes that agreement has no signatories on behalf of the IPL team.

As far as AMDPL is concerned, the audit report says that it too received funds of homebuyers and was "incorporated for development of a project in Ranchi". However, there are no records of it having any operations, revenue and profit from FY 2012 till FY 2014, a report in The Indian Express pointed out, citing available data.

Following a public outcry, Dhoni had stepped down as brand ambassador for Amrapali in April 2016.

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THE RESPONSE

In reaction to findings of the audit report, the Rhiti Group was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "We would only like to clarify that the observations mentioned in forensic report (only) are bereft of proper information or relevant documents. The question of siphoning funds does not arise because Rhiti provided all professional services as per the agreements and the then pre-agreed endorsement fee received from Amrapali was paid to relevant endorsing stars and celebrities."

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THE SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT

The Supreme Court on Tuesday had cracked its whip on errant builders for breaching trust reposed by home buyers, cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group under the real estate law RERA, and ousted it from its prime properties in the NCR by nixing the land leases.

The judgment, which was the first of its kind, may have far reaching consequences and impact across the country on other realtors like Unitech and Jaypee, which are facing similar litigation in the top court from hassled home buyers for not handing over possession of flats on time despite being paid the hard earned money of people.

The apex court, which directed a probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors, provided relief to over 42,000 home buyers of Amrapali group with the verdict.

It directed the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete the stalled projects of the realtor, whose directors Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar are behind the bars on the top court's order.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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