Bryce Harper, Phillies agree to $330M, 13-year deal, largest in baseball history

Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a $330 million, 13-year contract, the largest deal in baseball history, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the agreement is subject to a successful physical.

A 26-year-old All-Star outfielder, Harper topped the $325 million, 13-year agreement outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reached before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins.

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Harper’s agreement, first reported by the MLB Network, tops the previous high for a free agent, set last week when infielder Manny Machado signed a $300 million, 10-year deal with the San Diego Padres. Harper’s average annual value of $25.4 million ranks 14th in baseball history, well below the high of $31.4 million set by Arizona pitcher Zack Greinke as part of a $206.5 million, six-year contract that started in 2016.

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Harper gets a $20 million signing bonus, a $10 million salary this year, $26 million in each of the following nine seasons and $22 million in each of the last three years. None of the money is deferred.

Philadelphia has been among the most active teams this off-season, adding outfielder Andrew McCutchen for $50 million over three years and reliever David Robertson for $23 million over two years, and acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura.

After leading their division in early August, the Phillies went 16-33 over the final 49 games of last season and at 80-82 finished with a losing record for the sixth straight season.

San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers had also pursued Harper in recent weeks.

Harper has been an All-Star in six of seven big league seasons for the Washington Nationals and was the unanimous winner of the 2015 NL MVP award.

An up-and-down defender and an unusual mix of popular and polarizing, Harper is known for the occasional contretemps with opponents, one particular exchange with a reporter about a “clown question,” and, most infamously, a dugout dustup in which he was choked by then-teammate Jonathan Papelbon during a game.

Washington took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft and called him up to the majors less than two years later at age 19. He would go on to become the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year for a Nationals club that won its first division title and made its post-season debut.

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Harper was also an integral part of the team that added NL East titles in 2014, 2016 and 2017 and never finished lower than second place in his seven seasons. Another key stat, though: The Nationals never won a playoff series in that span.

His best year was 2015, when at age 22 he hit .330 with 42 homers, 99 RBIs, 118 runs and 124 walks, amassing an OPS of 1.109.

Last year, he hit 34 homers and produced a career-high 100 RBIs while walking 130 times, although his batting average dipped to .249. He started more than a third of his games in centre field instead of his usual spot in right, because of injuries to teammates.

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With Washington’s Nationals Park hosting the 2018 All-Star Game, Harper stole the show the day before the Midsummer Classic by winning the Home Run Derby before an ecstatic crowd filled with folks wearing his No. 34 Nationals jersey. Harper wore a headband with the D.C. flag’s design, reflecting his oft-stated pride in playing for Washington.

But that eventually ran its course. The Nationals made an offer toward the end of last season — a $300 million, 10-year contract that was no longer on the table after free agency opened without an agreement.

A year after going 82-80 and missing the playoffs under rookie manager Dave Martinez, the Nationals will move forward without Harper.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo would have loved to keep Harper in his team’s lineup but didn’t sit around and wait to find out whether that would happen. Instead, Rizzo spent such money elsewhere, adding lefty starter Patrick Corbin on a $140 million deal and righty starter Anibal Sanchez, along with second baseman Brian Dozier, a pair of catchers in Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki and two key bullpen pieces in Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough.

Naresh Goyal agrees to step down as Jet chairman

MUMBAI: Naresh Goyal has agreed to step down as chairman of Jet Airways even as the airline was forced to ground six more aircraft due to non-payment of lease rentals.

On Thursday, the airline’s share price fell nearly 6% on opening but recovered to close at Rs 222.8, 1% below its previous close. According to lenders, Goyal’s exit had turned inevitable as he did not fit into any of the resolution plans for the distressed airline that desperately needs a cash infusion from investors.

They said that Goyal’s resignation would make it easier for Jet’s foreign partner, the Etihad group, to move in. However, they could not confirm that a resolution was in sight as several of the impediments to Etihad’s fund infusion still remain.

The conditions put forward by Abu Dabhi’s flag carrier include a demand that Goyal pledges his shares with the banks to raise money—a demand Goyal has been opposing. They also want Goyal to use his holdings in Jet Privilege as security to raise funds for the airline. Besides bringing in the capital, the move would also result in reducing the promoter’s influence in the airline.

With Tata’s pulling out of the race to acquire Jet, Etihad is the only investor in a position to submit a resolution plan. However, even if there is an agreement between Goyal and Etihad on all issues, it won’t be a smooth ride. The Gulf-based airline has asked Jet’s lead banker, State Bank of India, to help them obtain a special dispensation from Sebi exempting them from making an open offer for acquiring the airline’s shares.

On February 14, Jet Airways’ board had approved a bank-led provisional resolution plan (BLPRP), whereby lenders would become the largest shareholders in the airline. Its shareholders have also approved the conversion of loan into shares and other proposals during the extraordinary general meeting on February 21. One resolution plan put forward included a rights issue of Rs 4,000 crore which would see capital infusion by the banks and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. However, this plan has not been supported by Etihad.

Eithad, which owns a 24% stake in Jet Airways, is reluctant to provide interim funding until a final resolution plan is in place. Downgrading the company in January 2019, rating agency ICRA said that besides defaulting on loans, the airline had failed to take steps needed to infuse liquidity. The company has been delaying its employee salary payments and lease rental payments to the aircraft lessors. Furthermore, the company has large debt repayments amounting to Rs 1,700 crore between December 2018 to March 2019.

‘There just isn’t enough money’: Why more adult kids are supporting their parents

There’s a common narrative that many adult kids are still receiving financial support from their parents.

A recent RBC report found that 96 per cent of parents with kids between the ages of 18 to 35 have supported them in some form financially in their adulthood, either paying for their rent or covering their bills.

But some adult children — ranging from their 30s into their 60s — are in the opposite situation, and offering monetary support to their parents. In fact, according to Judith Cane, a money coach based in Ottawa, this situation is becoming more and more common for Canadians, especially for people with parents in their 70s.

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“Parents want to stay in their home, but they need extra care [for things] like getting showered, rides to appointments [and] housecleaning,” she said to Global News. “Others need to go into a care facility, so the adult children are supplementing the monthly cost.”

Why are more parents leaning on their kids?

Rick Peticca, a lawyer at Shulman Law Firm in Toronto, says that the increase in older adult divorces is affecting people’s financial stability. In Canada, about one in five adults in their late 50s have split from their spouses, based on the latest government data.

This trend of baby boomers divorcing later in life is often referred to as “grey divorce.”

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“Obviously, if [someone has] gone through a divorce, they may have suffered some financial loss going through it with the division of assets,” Peticca told Global News. “And they need to, at times, rely on their children to assist [them] after the fact.”

Cane agrees, and says that when adults in their 60s or 70s divorce, their financial stability is often compromised — especially if they’re on a fixed or limited income. “[If] they have a fixed income, and you’re splitting up assets, there just isn’t enough money to go around,” she explained.

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There’s also the financial burden of aging. Cane says that the cost of taking care of older parents is also eating into children’s bank accounts. If someone does not have enough money put aside for their own retirement care, it’s often on their kids to cover housing or medical costs.

“It is so expensive to have your parents live in some kind of retirement community … especially if they need dementia care,” Cane says. “People are having to pitch in with their siblings to pay for it.”

In what ways are adult children offering support?

Like Cane mentioned, paying for one or two parents’ retirement housing is costly. In Canada, these facilities can cost anywhere between $2,000 to upwards of $5,000 a month. For kids who can’t afford it, they often have no choice but to have their parents move in with them.

“I’ve definitely seen kids who have brought their parents into their house because there just isn’t [enough] money to house them,” Cane said. “Not everybody can afford to pay for their own expenses plus help their parents out.”

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In other cases, financial support means children giving their parents money to cover bills or housing costs. Cane says kids may also be stocking their parents’ fridge, or paying for living expenses where they can.

“It’s just the little things that add up that kids are starting to have to contribute to,” she added.

How is this affecting adult children

The financial burden of supporting your parents can be taxing. If you’re comfortable enough to be able to offer monetary support without significantly affecting your own living situation, there may be less strain on your bank account.

But for adult children who are not in that position financially, the costs can add up. Cane says she’s had clients who’ve been eligible for retirement but can’t because they’re supporting a parent.

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This can put pressure on people professionally, as supporting a parent makes the risk of a job loss more severe. “If you’re trying to support three generations … you got your parents, your kids and you … losing a job can be a huge, significant problem,” Cane said.

Then, there’s the personal strain caregiving can bring. When it comes to siblings, tension can occur if one kid feels they are supporting their parents more than their brother or sister is, especially if a parent has moved in with them.

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On top of relationship issues, feuding over money — and how much each person is chipping in — can cause a divide. Cane says it’s best to have a conversation with siblings to make sure everyone is on the same page, and get an agreement in writing if necessary.

What adult children should be aware of

Lawyer Peticca also warns that adult children should be cautious if their parent has remarried or re-partnered. In these cases, offering financial support to the parent means their new spouse is often entitled to half.

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“Once the money is given to the parents from the adult child, they are free to do whatever they want to with that money,” he explained.

“If they’ve remarried, then that money [may] either get put into a joint account, or become jointly distributed with that person in their lives. If something should happen with that [parent], effectively, that money is going to be divided with their new partner.”

To combat this and avoid potential issues, Peticca says it’s smart to get a cohabitation agreement or marriage contract. This means that the parent could clearly outline that any money given to them from their own child is their’s  — and only their’s — should a death or divorce happen.

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At the end of the day, Cane says it’s important to be open and honest with your family about money.

“Everybody has to be open about what the financial implications are… and it’s not just about the money, but who is going to take the parent to doctor’s appointments and if there is going to be respite care for the person who is taking care of the parent,” Cane said.

“The kids need to get together … and make a decision that everybody can agree on.”

Cabinet clears Rs 10,000 crore FAME II scheme

NEW DELHI: With an eye on promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Thursday that the Union Cabinet has cleared a Rs 10,000-crore programme under the FAME-II scheme.
The scheme will be implemented over a period of three years with effect from April 1, 2019. It is the expanded version of the present scheme FAME India I (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) which was launched on April 1, 2015, with a total outlay of Rs 895 crore, an official statement said.

The main objective of the scheme is to encourage faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles by way of offering upfront incentive on purchase of electric vehicles and also by way of establishing necessary charging infrastructure for EV, Jaitley told reporters here.

The emphasis will be on electrification of public transport that includes shared transport, demand incentives on operational expenditure mode for electric buses will be delivered through state/city transport corporations (STUs), the statement said.

In three-wheeler and four wheeler segments, incentives will be applicable mainly on vehicles used for public transport or registered commercial purposes, it said.

In the two-wheeler segment, the focus will be on private vehicles.

“Through the scheme, it is planned to support 10 lakh electric two-wheelers, five lakh three-wheelers, 55,000 four-wheelers and 7,000 buses,” the statement said.

The scheme will help in addressing the issue of environmental pollution and fuel security.

In order to encourage advance technologies, the benefits of the incentives will be extended to only those vehicles which are fitted with advanced battery like lithium-ion battery and other new technology batteries.

The scheme also proposes support for setting up of charging infrastructure whereby about 2,700 charging stations will be set up in metros, other million-plus cities, smart cities and cities of hilly states across India, the statement added.

The plan is to ensure availability of at least one charging station in a grid of 3km x 3km, it added.

The establishment of charging stations are also proposed on major highways connecting major city clusters. On such highways, charging stations will be established on both sides of the road at an interval of about 25 km each, it said.

The much-delayed FAME II was revamped by the expenditure of the finance committee in a meeting held Monday.

Initially, in August last year an inter-ministerial panel had finalised the roadmap for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) II scheme with an outlay of around Rs 5,500 crore spanning over five years and subsidy support for all types of electric vehicles.

However, later on in November the government had extended the phase-I FAME scheme till March 2019 or till a notification for the second phase.

The Ministry of Finance had approved enhancement of the total outlay for the first phase of the scheme from Rs 795 crore to Rs 895 crore.

The scheme was supposed to be implemented over a two-year period commencing April 1, 2015. It was to be followed by the rollout of the second phase. The first phase was extended four times for six months each.

Get ready to face higher air fares

NEW DELHI: Brace for higher air fares in coming days. Prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, will be hiked by 10% in March. This happens at a time when airlines, led by Jet Airways and IndiGo, are cancelling flights, though for absolutely different reasons. The combined effect, say airline officials, will be lower supply of seats that may enable them to hike fares to absorb increasing costs.

“ATF prices are up again by 10% effective (March). Not good for already struggling industry!” tweeted AirAsia India COO Sanjay Kumar, an industry veteran.

A kilo-litre (KL) of ATF in Delhi and Mumbai for domestic flights costs Rs 58,060.97 and Rs 58,017.33, respectively. This ends a short declining trend seen from last November when the price was Rs 76,378.80 and Rs 76,013.2 in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.

Jet has grounded 13 aircraft in past month due to default to lessors and some more are not flying for other reasons like snags or awaiting spares. IndiGo has cancelled flights till April due to pilot shortage.

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The aggressive growth in last few years, amid a severe airport infrastructure crunch, has led to airlines bleeding badly with Jet and Air India struggling to survive. Rating agency ICRA recently said the three listed Indian carriers — Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet — lost Rs 20 crore per day in April-September, 2018, period. Collectively, Indian Airlines are likely to lose over Rs 8,800 crore in FY 2019, ICRA had estimated.

“We need to charge fares that at least cover our costs if we have to avoid meeting the fate of Kingfisher or Jet. This is already being seen and fares are climbing up in past few months, something that may accelerate after the sharp 10% ATF price hike in March,” said an official.

The rising fares have put brakes on the massive air traffic growth the country was seeing in recent years. The 11% growth in domestic air travel of November 2018 over November 2017 was the lowest year-on-year (YoY) increase recorded in India for the last 51 months. While to be sure domestic air travel has seen over 52 months of consecutive growth, the percentage is slowing down.

Despite the booming domestic air travel, Indian airlines are witnessing profit-less growth with fares being 10-15% below break-even levels. “Mumbai-Delhi one-way fare is about $45-50. Similar distance San Francisco-Seattle route fares is 3-4 times higher. That is why airlines in US and Europe are profitable. In India, fares are 10-15% lower than break even levels. I asked airlines why don’t they shed some growth by hiking fares to recover costs. They showed in real time that hiking fares by even Rs 200 meant losing prospective travellers to other cheaper airlines. Unless airlines as a whole have pricing discipline, it is not possible for a single airline to recover fares that cover costs as India is a very price sensitive market,” Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior VP (Asia Pacific & India Sales), had recently said.

Jaitley hopes more banks will exit RBI’s PCA framework

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday assured government funding support to public sector banks and hoped that the 6 lenders which remain under the RBI‘s prompt corrective action framework will soon come out of it. He said that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has been a success story and the government has maintained arm’s length distance from the processes being followed.

“The government has lived up to its word of continuing to fund you in terms of capital. I am glad that several banks have recently come out of the PCA norms and I’m sure the others who remain within will also try and improve their measures with the government commitment of support to them so that we can see much healthier banking in years to come,” Jaitley said.

Of the total 21 state-owned banks, 11 were put under the PCA framework by the RBI last year. Five banks — Allahabad Bank, Corporation Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce – have been removed from the framework this month.

The 6 PSBs which remain in the PCA list are United Bank of India, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Dena Bank.

Speaking at the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) event, Jaitley said the norms of banking have changed and now decisions are based on merit and professionalism.

“I’m conscious of the fact that you (public sector banks) are working in a competitive environment and you are still bound by certain restriction. Your public and social responsibility is much higher than your private sector competitors.

“In matters of hiring talent you don’t enjoy the same level of freedom that they do. Private sector banks go for campus recruitment and you can’t… And despite these obvious restraints, (you remain) competitive, large, and occupy a lion’s share of lending,” he said.

He also asked the public sector lenders to consider themselves “independent” while discharging their professional and commercial functions.

“It’s a discipline which both government and banks have to now accept. The Prime Minister in January 2015 had said that you (banks) won’t get any pressure from the government as far your functional independence with regard to commercial decisions. The government has lived up to its words and in this changed environment, I can see the difference in functioning,” Jaitley said.

Talking about the IBC, the minister said any instance of interference from the government in the process would discredit the whole process and bring a bad name to the wonderful reform.

“IBC everybody concedes has been a success story and it helped bring back Rs 2.85 lakh crore into the banking system … In an evolving society there is desire to become more ethical. Of course, the carrot part also worked that you can’t be a fugitive and get away with it. There is a law dealing with them.

“The black money law made life very difficult. It is no longer safe to keep assets outside the country and now that more and more countries in 2019 are coming into the transparency and disclosure norms, I think many sins of the past are going to be disclosed,” Jaitley said.

Stating that the worst is behind us with regard to the problems faced by the banking sector, he said the last 5 years will go down in history as the “turning point” in the evolution of India as a ethical society.

“Therefore, the earlier regime, if I would say was a great earning experience and for all of them this one is a great learning experience. So, each one of them will have to adjust to these new norms,” Jaitley said.
He said the government had to follow the “carrot and stick” policy to bring those who thought can live in violations in perpetuity into a discipline.
“In the banking sector the whole idea that if you don’t pay back you can get away with it, then it is banker’s headache and when you get money from banks you manufacture your own equity out of that money, round-trip it and base your investment on that basis — this cant be the new normal and that’s why you have to breakaway from system,” Jaitley added.
Since 2014-15, the government has infused nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore in PSBs till February 2019. During the period these banks have mobilised Rs 66,000 crore by raising fresh equity capital and through monetisation of non-core assets.

GDP growth falls to 6.6% in Q3, slowest in five quarters

NEW DELHI: The country’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the October-December (Q3) slowed to 6.6 per cent from 7 per cent in the previous (July-September) quarter, government data showed on Thursday. This is the slowest GDP growth rate in five quarters since July-September 2017, dragged by lower farm and manufacturing growth.

The data revised the country’s 2018-19 GDP forecast to 7 per cent from 7.2 per cent. The Q2 GDP number has also been revised to 7 per cent from 7.1 per cent.

A poll conducted by news agency Reuters had predicted that the economy likely grew at 6.9 per cent in the third quarter ended in December. Forecasts for GDP ranged between 6.3 per cent to 7.9 per cent and suggested a significant fall from a more than two-year high of 8.2 per cent in April-June 2018.

Commenting on the GDP fugures, Aurodeep Nandi, India economist, Nomura said, “The GDP growth number essentially shows the cyclical slowdown entrenching itself. Going ahead we do expect further moderation on tighter financial conditions, weaker global demand and political uncertainty. Therefore, despite budget and policy interest rates easing, there are enough growth headwinds to overpower the policy tailwinds.”

He further stated, “With low food prices keeping RBI’s headline inflation projection for end-2019 below 4 per cent, the dullness of growth prospects serves as a recipe for a 25 basis point rate cut by in April.”

A slowing economy could be a cause of concern for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the general elections due by May. This may hamper the government’s plans to boost lending and lift growth before the elections.

(With agency inputs)

Iran gets a little sweet relief from oil-money headache in India

NEW DELHI: Sanctioned by the US, Iran’s found a sweet way to use the cash it’s accumulated from trading oil: Purchase sugar from India.

Iran is struggling to spend the rupees it has made from oil sales to India that are sitting in the south Asian nation’s banks. Meanwhile, sugar stockpiles are stacking up in India after a bumper crop. Now the two have struck a deal that eases each other’s woes — albeit only to some extent.

The Government Trading Corporation of Iran will buy 150,000 tonnes of raw sugar from Indian mills for delivery in March-April, paying in rupees from escrow accounts held at UCO Bank. Indian sweeteners regain access to an old market, which has been dominated by Brazil, the world’s biggest producer and exporter.

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This payment mechanism will allow India, which imports nearly 80 per cent of its crude, to comply with the condition that forbids direct fund transfers to Iran for a US waiver from sanctions. It also opens an outlet for India’s swelling sugar reserves as local production exceeds demand for a second consecutive year. The Asia nation, which vies with Brazil as the world’s top sugar producer, is looking to boost exports.

India could potentially sell more commodities to Iran. India imported crude oil worth $12.6 billion from the Persian Gulf country last year, while goods sold — such as basmati rice, oilseed meal and tea — were worth only $2.9 billion, according to India’s Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics.

Sensex, Nifty end marginally lower on F&O expiry

MUMBAI: Extending its fall for the third session, the BSE benchmark sensex on Thursday ended marginally lower after investors squared-off their positions on February derivative contracts’ expiry amid concerns over tension between India and Pakistan. Weak cues from other Asian markets and a lower opening of European equities too weighed on market mood, traders said.

The 30-share index took off on a strong footing, advancing to a high of 36,085.85 in early session largely on the back of sustained foreign fund inflows and covering-up of short positions by speculators.

However, selling activity re-emerged in line with weak domestic and global cues, pushing the index to a low of 35,829.15. It finally settled 37.99 points, or 0.11 per cent lower at 35,867.44.

The gauge had lost 308 points in the previous two sessions.

The 50-share Nifty also fell 15.70 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 10,792.50 after moving between 10,865.70 and 10,784.85 on alternate bouts of buying and selling.

Top losers in the sensex pack include TCS, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, M&M, Axis Bank and Tata Steel, falling up to 3.38 per cent.
On the other hand, ONGC, Coal India, Vedanta, NTPC, Yes Bank, SBI, L&T, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, RIL, PowerGrid and ITC rose up to 4.17 per cent.
Investors adopted a cautious approach and were seen squaring-off their positions instead of carrying forward to the March series in the wake of tension between India and Pakistan, brokers said.

Market participants were also cautious ahead of the release of GDP numbers and fiscal deficit data scheduled for later in the day.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 423.04 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases to the tune of Rs 66.81 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.

SC allows arrest of Amrapali group CMD, 2 others

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Delhi Police to arrest Amrapali group CMD Anil Sharma and two directors forthwith in a criminal complaint filed against them.

The apex court also directed attachment of personal properties of Sharma and other directors.

It said the Economic Offence Wing (EoW) of Delhi Police can also arrest Amrapali directors — Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar in the case.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit said: “We had never stopped any agency from arresting the directors, who are presently housed at a hotel under the detention of UP police.”

The court is seized of a batch of petitions filed by home buyers who are seeking possession of around 42,000 flats booked in projects of the Amrapali group.

The three directors including the CMD were in the custody of UP police till now as per the direction of the apex court in the case filed by home buyers.

Now, Delhi Police has been allowed to arrest and interrogate them in a separate case of cheating lodged with its EoW wing.