The Supreme Court on Saturday extended the interim bail granted to former CMD of Amrapali Group of Companies Anil Kumar Sharma and the real estate firm's ex-director Shiva Priya on medical grounds.
A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi, which conducted a special hearing on a non-working day for the apex court, allowed Sharma to continue on interim bail as he is scheduled to undergo surgery for cataract and glaucoma, after it was submitted that he had lost around 90-95 per cent of his vision.
The bench allowed him to visit a hospital in Chennai for the surgery and said he will have to file a report about his medical condition five days after the procedure.
At the outset, advocate Manoj Singh, appearing for Sharma, said his medical reports indicate he has to undergo surgery for both his eyes.
"Doctors have said that he will first have to undergo surgery for left eye and then there will be a rest of four weeks after which surgery in right eye will be conducted. All relevant materials including opinions of doctors have been placed on record. We are praying for eight to ten weeks of interim bail," Singh said.
The bench, then asked Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for central investigating agencies, who said she has no objection to the bail but suggested the court should call for the report, after the first surgery.
Advocate ML Lahoty, appearing for home buyers, also did not oppose the bail on medical grounds but said glaucoma is a very common problem and it would not be appropriate to grant bail for such a long period.
The bench, however, extended the interim bail granted to Sharma on August 8 and said after his first surgery of left eye, he should file a report, indicating the status of his medical condition.
Similarly, the top court also granted extension of interim bail to Shiva Priya, who was granted interim bail on August 22 by two weeks and said he should surrender by November 7 before the trial court or he will be arrested and sent back to jail.
The top court noted that since he was granted interim bail on August 22, on account of his daughter's ill-health and now she recovered and advised rest by the doctors.
"Since it is festival week and the petitioner is on interim bail since August 22, we will not ask him to go to jail immediately. Instead, we will ask him to surrender by November 7, failing which he will be arrested and sent to jail," the bench said.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, told the top court that Shiva Priya has been booked in 24 cases and he has been granted bail in six cases.
"Out of 24 cases, a charge sheet has been filed in 20 cases. He has been granted bail in six cases including one in which a charge sheet has been filed. Charges have been framed in one case," Kumar said while giving the details of the cases.
The bench said that one of the cases relates to money laundering in which his bail has been rejected by the trial court and the accused intends to file an appeal in the high court.
"We are not disposing of your petition for regular bail, instead we are keeping it pending so that after the culmination of proceedings before the high court, you can revive this plea," the bench told Kumar.
Both Sharma and Shiva Priya have been in jail after their arrest in 2018 for various offences including that of cheating, criminal breach of trust and money laundering and have spent nearly four years in prison. Both have been accused of siphoning home buyers money.
The bench did not grant any relief to former chief financial officer Chander Prakash Wadhwa and asked him to move the trial court for remedy under law.
CJI Lalit said since his superannuation is on November 8, he has virtually six working days left after Diwali vacation, when the court will reopen on October 31 and hence, the special bench, which is hearing Amrapali matter will assemble for the one last time on October 31 and try to dispose of the issue related to sale of floor area ratio.
It heard the submission of senior advocate Ravindra Kumar, appearing for Noida and Greater Noida, and said that on October 31, it would hear submissions of Attorney General R Venkatramani, who is also the court appointed receiver for Amrapali properties and Lahoty, counsel for the home buyers.
Venkatramani told the bench that to complete the stalled projects, funds will be needed and despite the payment of home buyers, selling of unsold inventories and bank loans, the amount collected will be very less as compared to funds required for completion of pending projects and therefore they need to sell unused FAR.
The apex court, in its July 23, 2019 verdict, had cracked down on errant builders for breaching the trust reposed by the home buyers and ordered the cancellation of registration of the Amrapali Group under real estate law RERA and ousted it from prime properties in the national capital region (NCR) by nixing the land leases.
The top court had directed a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into alleged money laundering by realtors, providing relief to over 42,000 home buyers of the Amrapali Group with the verdict.
Besides ED, the Economic Offence Wing (EoW) of Delhi Police and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has also been investigating various cases lodged against the former officials of the real estate group.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First Published: Oct 22 2022 | 7:48 PM IST