SC reserves order in Ericsson's contempt plea on Ambani

Last Updated 13 February 2019, 16:07 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on Ericsson India's plea seeking contempt action against Reliance Communications Ltd chairman Anil Ambani and two others for non-clearance of its Rs 550-crore dues.

After a day-long hearing, a bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran concluded the hearing and said, “consequences will follow”.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Ericsson India, said that there was willful disobedience of apex court's orders and contempt action should be initiated against them.

He said, “They live like emperors with all the luxuries but they have no intention to honour the commitment made before the court. They have money to pay for Rafale but no money to clear off debts.”

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for RCom, countered the argument and said that no contempt was made as no orders of the apex court were violated.

He said that commitment was made by the company so no individual liability could be fastened on the chairman and other officials.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Ambani and others, “It was a company which was before the court. The chairman and directors, alone cannot have the liability.”

Ambani, Reliance Telecom Ltd chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel Ltd chairperson Chhaya Virani, were present in the court during the hearing.

The court had on October 23 last year asked RCom to clear the dues by December 15, 2018, saying delayed payment would attract an interest of 12% per annum.

The plea by Ericsson had sought that the court direct Ambani and the lenders forum to hand over the Rs 550 crore with interest from sale proceeds as per the October 23, 2018 order.

The RCom said that the deal worth Rs 25,000 crore to sell assets of the telecom company to Reliance Jio has fallen through and now they are in insolvency.

(Published 13 February 2019, 11:51 IST)

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