In a contempt petition filed by Ericsson, the Division Bench today held Reliance Communications, its Chairperson Anil Ambani and two Directors of the company guilty of contempt of court. Reliance Communications defaulted to pay dues of about 550 crores to Ericsson. In this regard, Supreme Court has directed Reliance Communication to pay rupees 453 crores within 4 weeks to Ericsson, default of which would lead to three months imprisonment. In addition, 1 crore fine is also imposed, default to deposit of fine will lead to one-month imprisonment. The sum will be paid over to the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee. Reliance Communications has agreed to comply with the same.
Ericsson had filed the contempt petition in the Supreme Court because Reliance Communications had failed to pay Rs. 550 crores within the stipulated date. Anil Ambani had given an undertaking to this effect to settle the amount with Ericsson by September-end, which has not been paid. Anil Ambani defended that he failed to meet this condition on account of the sale of assets deal with Reliance Jio, headed by his elder brother Mukesh Ambani. Due to the ongoing insolvency proceedings against Reliance Communications, the funds are not within his control.
(Reliance Communication Ltd. V. SBI &Ors, WP (Civil) No. 845 of 2018 decided on Feb 20, 2019, Justices RF Narima and Vineet Saran).