Ericsson Moves Court Asking To Prevent Anil Ambani From Leaving The Country Over Dues Of Rs 550 Crore
Ericsson, the Swedish telecom equipment maker has filed a contempt of court petition in the Supreme Court against Reliance Communications chairman, Anil Ambani. Reliance communication has failed to pay Rs 550 crore to settle the dispute over dues. The Ambani-owned company, on September 28 asked for a 60-day extension to the previously decided deadline of September 30 to settle dues. Ericsson has petitioned in the apex court to not allow Anil Ambani and two senior executives from his group to leave the country after the alleged default in payments, reports The Times of India.
Delay in payment of dues
Anil Kher, a senior counsel representing Ericsson told the Economic Times, “We filed a contempt of court petition against Anil Ambani, who had given an undertaking in the SC that the settlement amount to Ericsson will be paid by September-end.” In a statement given to stock exchange, Reliance Communication has called Ericsson’s petition to be unwarranted.
Ericsson has alleged that in 2014, they had signed a seven-year deal to operate and manage RCom’s nationwide telecom network, but were not paid dues to the tune of over Rs 1,000 crore.
Reportedly, a day before the SC hears the case on October 4, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) will hear the matter. NCLAT had earlier asked two firms to arrive at a settlement and September end was decided as the deadline then for RCom to pay Rs 550 crore.
What lies ahead for RCom?
Ericsson was supposed to get the payment as part of a business deal. Reportedly, the Anil Ambani group has already been battling a debt of about Rs 45,000 crore. In May, in dispute settlement at NCLAT, Ericsson had agreed to scale down its dues from Rs 1,600 crore to Rs 550 crore to be paid by September end. It was agreed upon the condition that if the company failed to pay up, it would be pushed back to insolvency proceedings at National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and sale of its assets would be reversed.
When Reliance Communication failed to do so, Ericsson decided to approach the top court. Ericsson said, “They have no respect for the nation, and have abused the process of law.”
Reportedly, until now RCom has sold its optic fibre and switching nodes to Jio for Rs 5,000 crore. However, the spectrum deal between RCom and Jio is stuck in a legal tussle, with the Anil Ambani-owned company appealing against the telecom department’s demand for over Rs 2,000 crore as spectrum usage charge before approving the transaction.