Guwahati, February 20, 2019:
Supreme Court on Wednesday pronounces Reliance Communications (RCom) Chairman, Anil Ambani as guilty of contempt over non-payment of Rs 550 crore dues owed to Swedish telecom giant Ericsson.
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Ambani was ordered to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson within four weeks by a bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saharan. The benched also warned that he would face three months jail if he fails to follow the orders.
The bench pronounced its verdict after Ericsson pulled Ambani to court after RCom failed to clear its dues.
Ericsson India case is represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave.
Dave in his argument approached the court, “They have money for Rafale. Somebody who is getting involved in every conceivable project has no money to pay Rs 550 crore to us and honour this Court’s order.”
On the other hand, representing Anil Ambani, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, to counter Dave’s argument said the undertaking was conditional upon the sale of RCom assets to Jio. He added, “To say that Anil Ambani gave a personal undertaking and that it was unconditional is a traversing of justice. It was conditional.”
According to Rohatgi statement to the bench, the sale which was expected to net Rs 18,100 crore brought in only Rs 780 crore. Dave submitted that this money from the sale was given to the Department of Telecommunications instead of Ericsson. Rohatgi replied that lenders had done this to keep the telecom licence alive as, without that, there would be nothing.
There also raised controversy on Ambani’s appearance in the court during the proceedings as sought by the bench of justices.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi has sacked two SC employees for tampering with apex court orders which the original order copy directed Anil Ambani’s personal appearance on the contempt plea by the Ericsson. Whereas, this was revised and uploaded as “personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is not dispensed with”. The digital signature on the order shows it was uploaded on January 9.”