Ericsson-Rcom Case: SC Holds Anil Ambani & 2 Others Guilty Of Contempt, Says Pay Fine Or Go To Jail

| February 20 , 2019 , 12:08 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held Reliance Communication chairman Anil Ambani and two directors guilty of contempt over non-payment of Rs 550 crore dues owed to Swedish telecom giant Ericsson and directed him to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson in 4 weeks.

"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 Ericcson.

Additionally, the apex court has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them, if not deposited within a month they will have to serve 1-month jail.

"Three Reliance companies had no intention of payment of money, it amounts to contempt," SC said in its judgment.

In a statement, a Reliance Communication Limited spokesperson said, "We respect the Supreme Court judgment. The RCOM Group shall comply with the same."

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Ericsson India in the case, had earlier argued before the court that while the Reliance Group had money to invest in the Rafale jet deal, they were unable to clear Rs. 550 crore they owed a charge which was vehemently denied by the Anil Ambani-led company.

Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence is one of the offset partners of Dassault, the maker of the Rafale fighter jets for which India and France signed a deal in 2016.

The 36-jet contract is at the core of the opposition's allegations that the government settled for an overpriced deal to help Anil Ambani; the allegation has been strongly refuted by the government, Reliance and Dassault and the Supreme Court also dismissed calls for an investigation.

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