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HC asks Supertech Chairman R K Arora to respond to ED's plea challenging interim bail

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday sought response of R K Arora, the chairman and promoter of realty major Supertech Group, on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging an order granting him interim bail on medical grounds in a money laundering case.

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Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri issued notice to Arora and asked him to file a reply to the petition.

The high court noted that Arora, who was granted interim bail by a trial court here on Tuesday, has already been released from jail and listed the matter for further hearing on February 9.

While granting interim bail to Arora on medical grounds, the trial court had directed him not to leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi or country without prior permission of the court and ordered him to surrender his passport in the court.

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It had also said that he will not use the liberty of interim bail for any other purpose except for better medical treatment/surgery, and better nursing and nutritional care.

Arora had sought interim bail for three months, claiming he was suffering from various ailments. He had told the court that he had lost around 10 kgs since his arrest and required "urgent medical assistance".

He was arrested by the ED on June 27, 2023 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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The money laundering case against the Supertech Group, its directors and promoters stems from a clutch of FIRs registered by police in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

The ED has been probing 26 FIRs registered by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh police against Supertech Ltd and its group companies for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust and forgery. They have been accused of defrauding at least 670 homebuyers of Rs 164 crore.

According to the charge sheet, the company and its directors hatched a "criminal conspiracy" to cheat people by collecting funds from prospective homebuyers in advance against flats booked in their real estate projects.

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The company did not adhere to the agreed obligation of providing possession of the flats in time and "defrauded" the general public, the agency has said.

The ED claimed its probe revealed the funds were collected by Supertech Ltd and other group companies from homebuyers.

The company also took project-specific term loans from banks and financial institutions for the purpose of construction of housing projects, the ED said.

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However, these funds were "misappropriated and diverted" for buying land in the name of other group companies which were pledged as collateral to borrow funds from banks and financial institutions, it added.

The Supertech Group also defaulted on payment to banks and financial institutions, in the process rendering around Rs 1,500 crore of such loans non-performing assets, the agency said.

Supertech Ltd, which was formed in 1988, has so far delivered around 80,000 apartments, mainly in the Delhi-NCR region. The company is currently developing around 25 projects across the National Capital Region (NCR). It is yet to give possession to more than 20,000 buyers. PTI SKV SKV VN VN

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