Ericsson, a Swedish telecom equipment maker has filed a complaint against the Chairman of Reliance Communications, Anil Ambani in Supreme Court after the Reliance Industries have failed to pay Rs. 550 crore by the deadline.
RCom had even asked for the 60-day extension to its deadline for paying Ericsson and the Swedish firm did not agree for the same. The company’s non payment of the dues has dragged the debt-laden telco back in to the insolvency proceedings, nullifying its spectrum sale deal with Jio and also setting back the efforts to cut back its Rs.46,000 crore debt.
“We have filed a contempt of court petition against Anil Ambani, who had given an undertaking in the Supreme Court that the settlement amount to Ericsson will be paid by September-end,” said Anil Kher, a senior counsel representing Ericsson. It is also understood from the sources that Ericsson did not accept the extension request made by Rcom, as the company had already waited for long time in order to cover its dues.
Ericsson confirmed filing the petition. RCom didn’t respond to emailed queries. The Supreme Court will hear the matter on 4th October, a day after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal hears the matter. NCLAT had prodded the two parties to arrive at a settlement and set Septemberend as the deadline for RCom to pay Rs 550 crore, around half of what it originally owed Ericsson.
Ericsson had a condition that if at all Reliance Industries fail to pay the dues, it will drag it into the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and any sale of its assets reversed.
On Monday, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that nonpayment or non-submission of bank guarantees cannot be a reason for preventing the spectrum sale, potentially clearing a major hurdle in RCom’s sale of airwaves to Jio.
The Ericsson company has also signed a seven year old deal in the year 2014 for operating and managing the RCom’s nationwide telecom network but it did not pay the dues for more than 1,000 crore rupees. After several legal warnings, Rcom managed to prevent the insolvency process by agreeing before the NCLAT for settling the dues with Ericsson for nearly 550 crore rupees, subject to riders. At the same time, the telco also struck a Rs 232-crore settlement with minority shareholders of Reliance Infratel.