SBI chief faces Ericsson contempt plea over RCom’s dues

SBI chief faces Ericsson contempt plea over RCom’s dues

News In Short

Ericsson contempt, Ericsson has filed a contempt petition against State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman in the Supreme Court for not fulfilling the lender’s assurance of settling Reliance Communications’ (RCom) dues as the lead banker. The Swedish firm also initiated its third contempt proceedings against RCom Chairman Anil Ambani for “willful disobedience” over repayment of dues. RCom owes ₹550 crore to Ericsson.

News In Detailed

Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd moved the Supreme Courton Tuesday seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Reliance Communications Ltd and its chairman Anil Ambani for “willful disobedience” of its earlier orders to pay its dues.

The telecom equipment maker asked the court to direct Ambani to submit ₹550 crore along with interest of 12% per annum and urged that till such time, his investment in firms including Reliance Capital Ltd, Reliance Inceptum Pvt Ltd, and Reliance Innoventures Pvt. Ltd is frozen. This is the third time that Ericsson is seeking contempt proceedings against RCom to recover dues.

The court orders cited by including those of 3 March 2018, 23 October 2018 and 7 January 2019, and relate to RCom’s dues payment of ₹550 crore.

Ericsson has also sought contempt proceedings against Reliance Infratel Ltd and its chairperson Chhaya Virani; Reliance Telecom Ltd and its chairman Satish Seth; and the State Bank of India (SBI).

Apart from payment of dues, Ericsson also wants the contemnors to file affidavits stating the total amount of unencumbered assets belonging to them in India or abroad.

The court is also vested of another contempt plea by Ericsson against Ambani for allegedly not complying with its order to clear dues of ₹550 crore. Ericsson had also sought that Ambani be “detained in civil prison” unless the payment is made.

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

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Aditya Singh

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