The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Amrapali to furnish all details of payments made to Mahendra Singh Dhoni in connection with the alleged fraud charges levelled by the cricketer against the realty group. Dhoni had moved the top court against the embattled group for Rs 40 crore due for his services used in realty firm’s branding for six years. It should be noted that Dhoni had signed an agreement to promote Amrapali group in 2009. In that year, the cricketer was appointed as the ‘brand ambassador’ of the realty major, who has seen numerous litigations filed against it by homebuyers alleging fraud.
Dhoni parted ways with the Amrapali group sometime in 2016. His wife Sakshi Dhoni was also involved in various ‘charity operation’ of the group. The decision came after an intense Twitter campaign by the homebuyers of social media demanded him to disassociate himself from such a ‘fraud’ group. "Dhoni is no longer our brand ambassador... I do not want his image to be affected because of being attached to Amrapali," company Chairman and Managing Director Anil Sharma had said at that time. He, however, had maintained that, “this decision was taken mutually by Dhoni and us.”
The complaints from the residents of Amrapalis Saphhire project in Noida had gone viral on Twitter over the past few days after they tagged Dhoni in their tweets asking the cricketer to disassociate himself from the builder or force the company to ensure completion of pending work.
The cricketer has also sought protection of his ownership rights on an over 5,500-square feet penthouse he booked 10 year ago in a project of embattled Amrapali Group. Dhoni filed an application in the court through his lawyer, after receiving a notice from apex court-appointed forensic auditors seeking clarification on certain aspects of the purchase.
"This application is being moved by the applicant (Dhoni) to protect his rights qua his ownership and possession of Penthouse apartment...in Amrapali Sapphire phase-1 which was agreed to be sold to him vide agreement dated August 31, 2009," Dhoni said in the application, filed through advocate Shekhar Kumar.
Dhoni said the apex court had on December 5 last year directed the forensic auditors to issue individual notices to home buyers who booked the flats on a paltry sum. The former team India captain said his authorised representative has given a detailed reply to the notice sent by the forensic auditors.
Dhoni said he has paid Rs 20 lakh for the property but only some work for the penthouse has been done and he has not been given the possession. "It is respectfully submitted here that the price paid by the applicant is certainly not a paltry amount," he said, adding that because he was associated with the Amrapali Group as their brand ambassador, he got the penthouse at a lower price.
(With PTI inputs)