SC Holds Anil Ambani guilty of Contempt, pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson or face jail

Reliance Communications (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani on Wednesday held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court which said that he will go to jail for three months if he doesn’t pay Rs. 453 crore to Ericsson within four weeks.

A bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saharan asked Ambani to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson within four weeks and warned he would face three months jail if its orders were not followed and a fine .

The top court directed that Rs 118 crore already deposited by Reliance Group in apex court registry be disbursed to Ericsson.

The Reliance Companies – RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance InfraTel- are also held guilty of contempt and a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them has been imposed by top court, if not deposited within a month, 1-month jail will be awarded.

The top court rejected Rcom and Ambani’s unconditional apologies saying they had shown a cavalier attitude to the administration of justice. 

It said, “Anil Ambani and others breached their undertaking.

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson had gone to the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani’s company for not clearing dues.

The contempt petitions have been filed alleging that Reliance companies violated the undertaking made before court to pay off debts due to Ericsson worth Rs 550 crores. 

Ericsson India had alleged that the Reliance Group has money to invest in the Rafale, but they were unable to clear Rs. 550-crore dues.

Anil Ambani had told the apex court that with the failure of its assets sale deal with brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, his company has entered insolvency proceedings and is not in control of the funds.

Reliance Communications (RCom) had told the court they had tried to move “heaven and earth” to ensure Ericsson gets its due was however, was not able to do so due to failure of assets sale deal with Reliance Jio.

The contempt plea has been filed against Anil Ambani, Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth, Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani.