Amrapali Group entered into “sham agreements” with firms promoted by cricketer MS Dhoni and his wife, Sakshi, to divert homebuyers’ money, the Supreme Court has said.
Amrapali’s “arrangement” with Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited came to light during a forensic audit ordered by the top court of the real estate developer in 2018.
The Amrapali Group of Companies paid Rs 42.22 crore to Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited between 2009 and 2015, the court was told. Of the sum, Rs 6.52 crore was paid by Amrapali Sapphire Developers Private Limited. While Dhoni, also known as Mahi, has a major stake in Rhiti Sport, Sakshi is a director of Amrapali Mahi. Dhoni was a brand ambassador for the group until three years ago.
The audit showed that agreements 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 agreement in our opinion do not stand the test of law”, justices Arun Mishra and UU Lalit said in a 270-page order.
Amrapali Mahi Developers Pvt Ltd received share capital in cash and all expenses were paid in cash, the audit report said.
Dhoni, husband of Sakshi Singh Dhoni (director of company), was the brand ambassador of Amrapali Group. Dhoni carried out a number of transactions with respect to endorsement of the group’s projects. He entered into agreements with other group companies, the audit report submitted by Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Ravinder Bhatia said.
Meanwhile, Rhiti Group has clarified that the observations mentioned in “forensic report (only) are bereft of proper information or relevant documents. The company has been in possession of all information and relevant documents that can establish the clean image and that the observations made in the said report are incorrect.”