Mukesh Ambani rescues Anil, ensures he doesn’t go to jail
Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2019 Published on March 18, 2019 BUSINESS LINE
Ericsson had dragged Ambani to the court after RCom failed to clear its dues, and won the suit
Mukesh Ambani stepped in to save his younger brother Anil from going to jail by giving money to be paid to Swedish equipment major Ericsson. Beleaguered telecom operator Reliance Communications (RCom) has paid ₹458.77-crore to Ericsson, avoiding a potential three-month jail term for its Chairman Anil Ambani.
The payment comes a day before the deadline set the Supreme Court expires on Tuesday. The group paid the amount to the court on Monday, sources close to the development said.
When contacted, an Ericsson spokesperson confirmed the developments.
Read More: SC to Anil Ambani, two RCom directors: Pay Ericsson ₹453 cr or face jail
Anil D Ambani, Chairman, RCom, said “My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to their strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful and deeply touched with their gesture.”
Earlier in January, debt-laden RCom deposited ₹118 crore with Supreme Court Registry as partial payment of dues it owes to Ericsson. The Indian firm has now paid a total of ₹579.77 crore to Ericsson. The Swedish company had moved a bankruptcy court in 2017, accusing RCom of not paying ₹1,500 crore in dues for a seven-year contract to manage and operate its network. The deal, signed by an Indian unit of Ericsson, was signed in 2013.
Ericsson had dragged Ambani to the court after RCom failed to clear its dues, and won the suit. On October 23, the court had asked RCom to pay ₹550 crore by December 15, and warned that any delay would result in a 12 per cent interest. The ₹550-crore dues were also personally guaranteed by Ambani.
Later, Ericsson had moved the apex court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Ambani for allegedly not complying with its order to clear dues of ₹550 crore (plus interest).
On February 20, the Supreme Court had held Anil Ambani and two directors of the group guilty of contempt of court and asked them to pay the amount within four weeks. Failure to comply with the order will invite a three-month jail term, the court had warned.
The apex court had also directed RCom, RTL and Reliance Infratel to deposit ₹1 crore as penalty.
Published on March 18, 2019