Supreme Court Allows Attachment of JP Morgan’s India Assets in Amrapali Case
The Supreme Court has allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach Indian properties of financial services provider JP Morgan Bank NA. The US company allegedly transacted with the beleaguered realty company Amrapali, allegedly to siphon off homebuyers' money in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms, the SC noted.  
 
The apex court also allowed the ED to take into custody Amrapali’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Anil Sharma and director Shivpriya for questioning. It further said they would be sent back to jail once their interrogation is over. The SC had previously granted custody of the two executives until 20th January, on serious charges related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The next hearing is on 17 February 2020.
 
In July 2019, the apex court had asked the ED to probe JP Morgan’s role in helping the Amrapali Group allegedly divert Rs140 crore from realty projects. The latest order is reportedly based on the ED’s request for permission to take additional action against JP Morgan.
 
ED joint director Rajeshwar Singh, told the bench that the investigation against JP Morgan was complete and a compliant under PMLA had been filed. 
 
As per the share subscription agreement, JP Morgan had invested Rs85 crore on 20 October 2010 for a preferential claim on profits in the ratio of 75% to JP Morgan and 25% to promoters of Amrapali Homes Project Pvt Ltd and Ultra Home.
 
Later, two companies Neelkanth and Rudraksha, owned by a peon and an office boy of Amrapali's statutory auditor Anil Mittal, bought back the same shares from JP Morgan for an inflated price of Rs140 crore. The money was remitted to the US ostensibly to help the realty group launder and divert homebuyers’ funds.
The bench ruled "They (JP Morgan) have lot of properties in India. We want you to attach their office or corporate properties of like amount. Then they will come running to us and we will see to it.”
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    COMMENTS

    Ibrahim Sakarwala

    2 weeks ago

    Not only should their properties be sealed but they should be blacklisted from doing business in India and their deeds must be widely published and publicised around the world. Shame on you Morgan Stanley for colluding with the corrupt and making fools of our system. If this had happened abroad by now the managers and the persons connected would be behind bars. Arrest them and without bail let them rot in our jails.

    m.prabhu.shankar

    2 weeks ago

    Excellent. Recover double or triple the amount so that fear spreads in the corporate environment so that corporates will fear indulging in such malpractices.

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 weeks ago

    Great!

    Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank blames 62 dud loans worth Rs300 crore for crisis
    Assuring depositors that their money was "100 per cent safe" with the bank, Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Chairman K. Ramakrishna, here on Monday, said 62 loans had locked up Rs 300 crore of deposit.
     
    "Your money is 100 per cent safe with Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank. It's my responsibility," Ramakrishna said at Sri Guru Narasimha Kalyanamandira auditorium, to assure depositors.
     
    Because of these 62 dud loans, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had restricted the lender from executing business, he said amid shouting by depositors.
     
    To assuage customers, the call to an assistant commissioner of police by Bengaluru South MP Tejaswi Surya -- not present -- was relayed on loudspeaker live and the MP claimed that he had spoken to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to help the customers.
     
    Ramakrishna said he would meet customers again on January 19 with all the details and numbers.
     
    Dramatic scenes and pandemonium ruled the auditorium before his arrival. Thousands of bank customers threatened to go en masse to the police station and file a case against Ramakrishna.
     
    As he addressed the gathering in Kannada, hundreds of depositors shouted back at him seeking clarifications.
     
    "The bank is saying I can't withdraw more than Rs 35,000. In case of our fixed deposit maturing, we will have to renew it as we can't encash it, " said Nagaraj M, 49, who has been dealing with the bank for the past six years.
     
    At the auditorium, thousands of depositors earlier demanded the bank chairman's presence to clarify the matter.
     
    The lender had invited depositors to the auditorium at 6 p.m. to update them on the bank's status, following a RBI directive restricting the bank from doing business with immediate effect.
     
    "We want the bank's directors here," shouted a depositor from the stage. A handful of policemen were trying to control the crowd and bring order to the assembly.
     
    Many elderly and retired persons had arrived to know the fate of their savings. Several women were also present at the meeting.
     
    "It was a good bank with only 0.5 per cent NPAs. Now we can't trust any bank. See what happened with the PMC Bank," said another customer.
     
    Shankar Sharma, 38, an employee of a private company, said majority of depositors were senior citizens and retirees. "I don't have an account with the bank, but my mother, uncle, aunt have deposited money in it. I came for them, " said Sharma.
     
    He said many of the bank's 35,000 clientele deposited more than Rs 5 lakh, which had total deposits of Rs 1,600 crore. The bank started operations in 1999.
     
    Ramakrishna was escorted away to safety by the police after his speech even as the depositors were screaming and agitating for justice.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 weeks ago

    the sector was ripe for reforms since too long. in due course,
    it will have stricter regulations shortly from RBI which may prevent
    such cases. it has started already.

    shadi katyal

    2 weeks ago

    We were under the misleading impression that Modi sarkar has taken steps after looting of banks by Modi Jewelry and others but it seems he is too busy to pass CAA and NRC and let the economy go to dogs as we see bank after bank

    B Ravi

    2 weeks ago

    Once you have gone under RBI regulation means common people savings,FDs and other deposits which are bove 1 lac will be received is doubtful. Its a game played by RBI. RBI Now will just issue validity qutrly.

    Rajolu Ramam

    2 weeks ago

    PMC bank, now GURU RAGHAVENDRA SAHKARKRI BANK and tomorrow many more urban banks Cooperative banks are going to be " PHUT". The en tire system is totally fraudulent. Where the system is failing?
    RBI and the GOI MF has to seriously ponder over the debacle.
    CURRPTION IS OUR CULTURE.
    Unless severe punishment to the perpetrators quickly awarded, the entire financial will collapse which cannot be revived.

    ICICI Bank moves HC seeking recovery of bonuses from Kochhar
    ICICI Bank has approached the Bombay High Court seeking recovery of bonuses earned by its ousted CEO Chanda Kochhar.
     
    In an affidavit filed by the bank at the high court on Monday, the bank said, "Respondent (ICICI Bank) has filed Suit (L) No. 32 of 2020 at the Court inter alia seeking recovery of amounts towards the clawback of bonuses given to the petitioner from April 2006 to March 2018, pursuant to the termination of the petitioner's (Kochhar) services." 
     
    Clawback is an act of retrieving money already paid out. The former CEO is accused of violation of bank's code of conduct and conflict of interest in the controversial Rs 3,250 crore loan given to Videocon Group, a part of which went to a company run by her husband Deepak Kochhar.
     
    The affidavit also observed that Chanda Kochhar is currently being interrogated by several agencies, including the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and said that her petition challenging her sacking claiming violation of RBI rules is an malafide attempt to secure stock options of the bank. 
     
    In January last year, the Justice Srikrishna Committee indicted her for violation of bank's code of conduct and conflict of interest. It cleared the decks for investigating agencies and overarching regulatory bodies to take appropriate action against all the accused. 
     
    The former ICICI Bank chief had moved the Bombay HC challenging the bank's decision to terminate her in November 30, 2019, after the bank approved her request for early retirement. 
     
    ICICI Bank's board had also decided to take back all the bonuses and stock options paid to her between April 2009 and March 2018.
     
    In another development, the ED on Friday said that it has provisionally attached Rs 78.15 crore worth movable and immovable assets in possession of Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and the companies owned and controlled by him.
     
    According to the ED, the asset attachment is under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA) in the ICICI Bank loan case.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  • User

    COMMENTS

    Meenal Mamdani

    2 weeks ago

    What a downfall!!
    Last year while Arun Jaitley was in US for medical treatment, he had scolded the ED for questioning Ms Kochhar, saying they should not sully the reputation of respected individuals unless they had overwhelming proof of wrongdoing.
    At that time people wondered if Kochhar was being protected by BJP. Looks like poor Jaitley had been duped by Ms Kochhar's air of injured innocence.
    Now justice is being done.
    What makes rich individuals risk all for getting a little more rich? Rajat Gupta too lost his reputation for a not that large a sum.
    I guess we will never know unless the individuals write a mea culpa autobiography while in prison.

    REPLY

    Newme

    In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 weeks ago

    They were caught in small sum cases. They were involved in larger scandals also but they were not caught in it.

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