A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Vineet Saran today, February 20, 2019, held Reliance Communications and its Chairperson Anil Ambani and two Directors of the company guilty of contempt of court on a contempt petition filed by Ericsson for the failure of Reliance Communication to pay dues of Rs.550 crore to Ericsson.
SC has also directed Reliance Communication to pay Rs. 453 crores to Ericsson within 4 weeks to purge the contempt, and failure of which would follow three months imprisonment.
Further, the SC has imposed fine of one crore on the each company to be deposited in the registry of the Supreme Court. Failure to deposit the fine will invite one month imprisonment.
Ericsson had filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Communications after his firm failed to pay Rs 550 crore by the deadline to settle its dispute over dues. Anil Ambani had given an undertaking before the Apex Court that the settlement amount to Ericsson would be paid by September-end, however, the same was not paid.
Anil Ambani told the Apex court that with the failure of its assets sale deal with elder brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio his company has entered insolvency proceedings and is not in control of the funds.
Soon after the judgment, Reliance Communication Limited issued a statement “We respect the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The RCOM Group shall comply with the same”.
Read the Judgment.