Ericsson Pleads SC for Anil Ambani’s Arrest

New Delhi: Ericsson, the Swedish telecom major equipment, has petitioned before the Apex Court of the Country to effect the arrest of Anil Ambani, the Chief of Reliance Communications Ltd, for delay in the payment of its due worth Rs. 550 crore.

Ericsson has accused the business tycoon of gross and wilful contempt of the Supreme Court. The Company asked the Court to initiate proceedings against RCom and its spectrum and to stop with immediate effect the tower sale deal with the Reliance Jio.

The Company has also requested the Court to bar Mr. Ambani from leaving India for defaulting on payments..

“The respondents have abused the process of law to the hilt and caused grave damage to the interest of justice… having committed and guilty of contempt of court, be directed to be detained in civil prison unless… (they) purge themselves by making payment of Rs550 crore along with interest,” the report says quoting the petition filed by Vishal Garg, authorised representative of Ericsson India Pvt Ltd.

Earlier in October 2018, Ericsson had filed its first contempt petition in the Supreme Court. At that time, RCom had stated that it sought another 60 days for the repayment of Rs550 to the Swedish company.

“The extension has been sought purely due to the fact that, as approved by 38 secured lenders, and as per RCom’s undertaking, Ericsson is to be paid from the sales proceeds of spectrum being traded by RCom, and such sale could not be completed as yet owing to factors beyond the control of RCom,” the Anil Ambani group company had said in its regulatory filing.

Initially RCom owe Rs1,600 crore to Ericsson. However, after a court monitored settlement, this was brought down to Rs 550 crore and was supposed to be paid by 30 September 2018.

A report from ToI, says, “Troubles for RCom — which has run up a cumulative debt of nearly Rs45,000 crore — have been compounding despite Anil Ambani striking a deal with elder brother Mukesh’s telecom venture Jio. While the company has received around Rs5,000 crore through the sale of fiber and media convergence node (MCN) set-up, the bigger deal — estimated at Rs15,000 crore through sale of spectrum and towers — still hangs in balance over payment of a bank guarantee.”

“With the bigger deal looking difficult to pass, and money collected from the previous sale parked in an escrow account controlled by the banks, Anil Ambani has been unable to pay Ericsson despite giving specific assurances for the same,” the report adds.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com
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