JP Morgan’s attached money may be used for Amrapali projects: SC

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said funds of JP Morgan, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Amrapali housing scam, might be transferred to the escrow account for completion of projects.

The Bench, comprising Justices Arun Mishra and U.U. Lalit, said the money attached should be used for construction purposes. The escrow account has been set up in the apex court.

Terming it a good decision as it will contribute towards funds required by NBCC to complete the projects, Kumar Mihir, advocate for homebuyers, said if JP Morgan succeeded before the courts it might ask for refund of this amount.

On June 3, JP Morgan without admitting to the ED allegation informed the apex court that attachment of Rs 187 crore might continue till the trial was concluded by special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Lucknow.

The response came after the ED filed a reply-affidavit saying JP Morgan was trying to shortcut the procedure under the PMLA by directly moving the apex court and evading trial.

The apex court asked JP Morgan to deposit Rs 140 crore as per the forensic audit finding and directions in the last year’s Amrapali Group housing scam case judgement.

JP Morgan’s counsel had contended that the attachment was wrong.

When UCO Bank expressed its inability to provide Rs 2,000 crore, the court-appointed receiver proposed that instead of just UCO Bank, all the banks that had advanced funds to Amrapali projects might finance it through a consortium.

The Bench asked the receiver to explore this mode and update the court on the matter on the next date.

SBI Caps informed the Bench that it handed over its termsheet on Thursday and sought certain other information from the receiver.

When SBI Caps sought time to come up with a firm proposal for financing Amrapali projects, the Bench granted it four weeks.



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