In Bail Appln. 1627/2023 -DEL HC- Delhi High Court grants bail to Amrapali group Director accused of cheating homebuyers
Justice Amit Bansal [17-11-2023]


Read Order: Ajay Kumar V. State NCT of Delhi


LE Correspondent


New Delhi, November 20, 2023: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Ajay Kumar, a director of the realtor Amrapali Group, in four cheating cases filed against him on the basis of complaints by homebuyers.


The complainants alleged that M/s Amrapali Leisure Valley Private Limited, M/s Amrapali Dream Valley Private Limited (accused companies), and their directors/officials, including the applicant, had committed offenses of cheating, fraud, and criminal breach of trust. The accusations stemmed from various residential projects in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The homebuyers claimed that, despite making substantial payments, the accused entities either stalled or abandoned the projects or delivered possession of flats in a significantly delayed and incomplete manner. The complainants further alleged that the accused individuals had misrepresented that all necessary permissions and sanctions were obtained from authorities before accepting booking amounts from the homebuyers.


The single-judge bench of Justice Amit Bansal referred to the case of Ashok Sikka v. State [LQ/DelHC/2008/315], where it was held by the Court that a mere statement indicating that the petitioners were directors of the company at the time of the commission of the offense, without reference to their precise role, would not be sufficient to attach criminal liability to them.


Thus, the bench observed that even though the applicant was one of the directors in the accused companies as well as the holding company of the Amrapali Group of Companies, there were no specific allegations against the applicant being responsible for the financial matters, policy-making, or the administration of the company. According to the Report of the Forensic Auditor appointed by the Supreme Court, it appeared that the applicant was involved in the ‘construction and coordination’ activities of the company. It was emphasized that the exact role of the applicant would be determined only after the conclusion of the trial.


The bench further observed that it was a matter of record that a sum of Rs.8.36 crores had already been recovered from the applicant and his family members through the sale of assets, in terms of the Supreme Court’s order dated 5th April, 2021.


The bench stated that it was a settled principle of law that bail is the rule and jail is an exception. The right to a speedy trial and justice had been recognized as a fundamental right by the Supreme Court.


The bench held that, in the present case, the evidence was primarily documentary and already within the custody of the prosecution. Consequently, there was no likelihood of the applicant tampering with the evidence if released on bail. Additionally, considering that the complainants were homebuyers, there was little possibility of the applicant influencing or threatening the witnesses. The bench also took into account that the applicant had already deposited his passport, eliminating the possibility of him leaving the country.


Taking into account the voluminous documents, the number of witnesses, and the likelihood that the trial would be protracted, the bench held that the applicant could not be kept under incarceration for an indefinite period. Consequently, considering the totality of the facts and circumstances, as well as the period of incarceration already undergone by the applicant, the Court was inclined to grant bail to the applicant.


Thus, for the foregoing reasons, the applications were allowed, and the applicant was directed to be released.

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