In a major development, industrialist Anil Ambani was held guilty of contempt today by the Supreme Court.
It is said that top court ruled that he will go to jail for three months if he doesn’t pay Rs. 453 crore to Ericsson India within four weeks.
The court tore into the Reliance Communications chairman for what it called a “cavalier attitude” and fined him and two of his directors Rs. 1 crore each.
“Anil Ambani and others breached their undertaking,” the court said, calling it “willful disobedience” of its order that they should repay Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson. In a statement, a Reliance Communication Limited spokesperson said: “We respect the Supreme Court judgement. The RCOM Group shall comply with the same.”
The Supreme Court ruled that Rs. 180 crore already deposited by Reliance Group in the court registry be given to Ericsson. It also said any unconditional apology given by Reliance needs to be rejected as they had “breached the undertaking and order”.
Ericsson India signed a seven-year deal with RCom in 2014 to manage and operate its network. Last year, it went to the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani’s company over unpaid dues of Rs. 550 crore.
nil Ambani’s Reliance Defence is one of the offset partners of Dassault, the maker of the Rafale jets for which India and France signed a deal in 2016. The 36-jet contract is at the core of the opposition’s allegations of corruption to benefit Anil Ambani;
the allegation has been strongly refuted by the government, Reliance and Dassault and the Supreme Court also dismissed calls for an investigation.