SC to hear home buyers' plea on Dhoni fees from Amrapali

New Delhi


 The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea by home buyers seeking it pass a direction to recover Rs 42.22 crore paid by the Amrapali group to former Indian cricket captain M.S. Dhoni as endorsement fee.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said it will conduct hearing on the matter in January.

In its July 23 judgement, the apex court had concluded Amrapali had diverted Rs 42.22 crore of the money deposited by home buyers to clear the bills of the group's then brand ambassador Dhoni. According to advocate Kumar Mihir, representing the home buyers, the amount was paid to Rhiti Sports, a company which managed the advertisement engagement of the cricketer.

The apex court is yet to pass any direction on this matter, although it had already ruled that all directors and officials of Amrapali and other group companies involved in the matter will have to deposit the diverted funds without fail in the court.

Mihir said the apex court will take up the matter on the next hearing scheduled in January, and insisted he would seek directions from the top court to Dhoni to refund the money.

The auditors observed that, during 2009 to 2015, company Amrapali Sapphire Developers Private Ltd paid Rs 6.52 crore out of Rs 42.22 crore from the Amrapali group of companies to Rhiti Sports Management Private Ltd.

Also citing the July 23 judgment, Mihir said the forensic auditors have found that Amrapali and Rhiti Sports had made these dubious agreements to deploy a channel to divert the money to this company. He said that the top court had already accepted these findings on the matter.

The auditors' report said that the agreement signed between the two parties helped the Amrapali group to market its brand through company logos at various places in IPL 2015 for Chennai Super Kings. The report said this agreement was not made official, but the deal was executed between Amrapali group and Rhiti Sports, without any signatories representing the CSK.

The report said that the agreements were executed by Amrapali's CMD Anil Kumar Sharma, as a representative for the Amrapali group. But, there was no resolution on record, which authorised him enter into agreements as a representative authority of all Amrapali group companies.IANS