Published on: 26th July 2022 at 17:41 IST
The Supreme Court issued a stay of the arbitral proceedings that former India skipper M. S. Dhoni had started against the Amrapali Group of Enterprises, which is no longer in business and for which the cricketer served as the brand ambassador.
In order to “illegally divert” home buyers’ money, Amrapali Group entered into “sham agreements” with Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd (RSMPL), which promotes the brand of Dhoni. As per forensic auditors appointed by the Supreme Court, total amount paid in between 2009-2015 is approx. 42.22 crore to RSMPL.
Dhoni filed a petition with the Delhi High Court, which on October 16, 2019, appointed Veena Birbal, a former judge there, as the sole arbitrator to settle the business dispute between the player and the real estate company.
The court-appointed receiver on Monday informed a panel made up of Justices UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi about the ongoing arbitration processes between Dhoni and the defunct real estate enterprises and the challenges he would face in pursuing them.
In the order, the court stated that it had taken cognisance of the issues in order to protect the interests of the home buyers and had appointed a court receiver to oversee the timely completion of housing projects and the distribution of units to the buyers.
Dhoni received a sizable sum of money from the real estate company in exchange for serving as its brand ambassador. According to Attorney M. L. Lahoty, who is also involved in the case said that, “We had at that stage argued that the amount was to be recovered,” he said, adding that “the issue of retrieving of money is going on in the apex court.”
The apex court has been keeping an eye on a number of housing projects being constructed by the now-defunct real estate company by the NBCC. The Court directed ED to investigate the alleged money laundering done by real estate mogul, in order to decide the fate of 42,000 home buyers of Amrapali Group.
By cancelling Amrapali Group’s registration under the real estate code RERA and evicting it from desirable properties in the NCR by removing land leases, the top court gave errant builders the boot for betraying the faith placed in them by homebuyers.