‘M.S. Dhoni’ finds a place in Amrapali ruling

Subtitle forms part of forensic auditors’ report, which is a major part of the scathing verdict against the group

July 24, 2019 05:10 pm | Updated 05:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni. File

Mahendra Singh Dhoni. File

The July 23 270-page judgment of the Supreme Court against the Amrapali Group of of Companies for defrauding homebuyers contains a few paragraphs under a subheading, ‘M.S. Dhoni’.

The former Indian cricket captain was once the brand ambassador of the Amrapali group. His name finds a mention in the forensic auditors’ report submitted in the court on the doings and “bogus expenses” incurred by the group. Its summary is now a major part of the scathing verdict pronounced by a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra.

The report under the subheading, ‘M.S. Dhoni’, observes that Amrapali Sapphire Developers Private Limited paid ₹6.52 crore out of a total amount of ₹42.22 crore paid from the Amrapali group to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited from 2009-2015.

This amount was paid on account of agreements executed by Anil Kumar Sharma, CMD, for and on behalf of Amrapali group with Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. However, the auditors found no resolution on record authorising him to enter into an agreement on behalf of the group.

The agreements include one dated November 2009 in which Dhoni would “make himself available to the Chairmen for three days along with one representative of Rhiti Sports”. There is, however, no documents held on record for compliance of this condition.

Another sponsorship agreement of March 2015 is about the group’s of “right to advertise as logo space at various places in the IPL 2015 for Chennai Super Kings”.

The report, which is a part of the judgment, said, “It is observed that this agreement is on plain paper and executed only between Amrapali and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and there are no signatories on behalf of Chennai Super Kings to this agreement. No resolution in favour of Shri Arun Pandey, signatory of Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited, is attached with the agreement.”

It concluded that the details clearly show that “these agreements have just been made for payment of amounts to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited Company, are sham agreements and made just for making payments to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. We feel that homebuyers’ money has been diverted illegally and wrongly to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and should be recovered from them as the said agreements in our opinion do not stand the test of law.”

Another subheading

There is another subheading in the report, called ‘Amrapali Mahi Developers Pvt Ltd’. Under this, it said that “Mr. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, husband of Ms. Sakshi Singh Dhoni [director of company], was the brand ambassador of Amrapali group and have carried out a number of transactions with respect to endorsement of Amrapali group’s projects”.

The report concluded there was prima facie violation of the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act), fraudulent activities and money laundering involving the Amrapali group.

The court had directed the Enforcement Directorate to conduct a probe and fix liability on persons responsible. It further asked “the various companies/ directors and other incumbents in whose hands money of the homebuyers is available as per the report of forensic auditors, to deposit the same in the court within one month” or face appropriate action.

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