MS Dhoni-Amrapali saga explained: World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Dhoni are in the news for their alleged involvement in dubious financial transactions between real estate company Amrapali Group that is going bust and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited (RSMPL) which was partially owned by Sakshi. Skeletons tumbled out of the cupboards after forensic auditors Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal revealed to the Supreme Court that Amrapali had entered into a false agreement with the RSMPL so that Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt Ltd could pay Rs 6.52 crore, out of the total amount of Rs 42.22 crore to Rhiti Sports between 2009 to 2015. The audit report said the hard-earned money of home buyers, which was illegally diverted to Rhiti Sports, should be recovered from them as per the given agreement.
Amrapali CMD Anil Sharma had entered into an unauthorised agreement with Rhiti Sports on behalf of the all Amrapali Group of companies, auditors have found. Sharma held 75 per cent stake in AMDPL while Sakshi Dhoni held the remaining 25 per cent in the company until September 2014. The Sakshi Dhoni-owned AMDPL was among the 47 Amrapali Group companies that allegedly received the money of homebuyers, which was diverted by the real estate group to its subsidiaries, according to the findings of a forensic audit on the Group submitted to the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited (AMDPL), a homebuyers company invested money in MS Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Dhoni’s company. Dhoni has major shares in Rhiti while Sakshi Dhoni was a director of the AMDPL with 25 per cent stake. Dhoni himself was the brand ambassador of Amrapali till April 2016 before he withdrew due to the pressure of disgruntled homebuyers in Noida.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and the lease of its properties granted by Noida and Greater Noida authorities after the real estate major failed to fulfil its obligations towards 42,000 home buyers.
The court also asked the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete pending projects of the group. Apart from that, the top court has directed a probe by the Enforcement Directorate into alleged money laundering by realtors, providing relief to the home buyers of Amrapali Group with the verdict.
Here is the chronology of events:
December 2011: Amrapali Mahi Developers Pvt Ltd (AMDPL) incorporated.
April 2013: Amrapali case blew into the headlines after raids revealed the group had completed zero projects from 2009 to 2015.
April 2016: Dhoni resigned as the brand ambassador of Amrapali Group days after unhappy residents of the company’s Saphhire project in Noida started a social media campaign.
April 2018: Dhoni sues Amrapali Group to recover around Rs 150 crore from the real estate firm.
March 2019: Dhoni approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention to get Rs 40 crore from the Amrapali Group for branding and marketing over a six-year period until 2016.
May 2019: The Supreme Court reserved the verdict in the matter on after Noida and Greater Noida authorities said they don’t have the resources and required expertise to construct the stalled housing projects of Amrapali Group.
July 2019: SC cancelled the registration of Amrapali Group and the lease of its properties granted by Noida and Greater Noida authorities. The court also asked the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete all the pending projects of the group.