Enforcement Directorate Identifies ₹187 Crores in Accounts of JP Morgan, Apex Court Orders Attachment of Assets

The Supreme Court allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach assets of JP Morgan and its directors; this is to the extent of amounts  of homebuyers allegedly siphoned off by the defunct Amrapali group. Moreover, it is in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and FDI norms.

Background

ED made a submission that it identified ₹187 Crores in the accounts of JP Morgan; as proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Accordingly, the Supreme Court modified the earlier ban of not attaching the property of JP Morgan and its directors. The Court permitted ED to attach the Bank Accounts of JP Morgan as well as any other property belonging to JP Morgan and its directors to the extent required.

Further, the court asked the Addtl. Solicitor General, Vikramjit Banerjee to obtain instructions; as to release of an amount of Rs.500 Crores by way of loan under the scheme of the GoI to revive the standstill Amrapali project. Banerjee said that a meeting stands scheduled in finance ministry on the issue; and he would inform the concerned authorities of the court’s views.

The Court directed the DRT to transmit the rent which they have received from property that has been attached to the Amrapali Account maintained by the Registry of this Court. The Court-appointed receiver in the case suggested that GST should be waived by the GoI considering the dispute. Additionally, Banerjee said that the court is looking into it.

However, it had said the equity shares of the group were purchased at an exorbitant price to suit the requirements of JP Morgan and the Amrapali Zodiac Developers have diverted homebuyers funds. In terms of the contentions, the Court directed the ED to complete the investigation impartially, properly and expeditiously within 3 months. The Court directed the NBCC to take over the stalled project.

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