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Ericsson payout case: Mukesh Ambani comes to brother Anil's rescue day before SC deadline

Reliance Communication chairman Anil Ambani and two directors – Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani - were found guilty of contempt of court by SC.

Ericsson payout case: Mukesh Ambani comes to brother Anil's rescue day before SC deadline

NEW DELHI: Billionaire businessman Anil Ambani on Monday thanked his brother Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani for extending "timely support" after his firm Reliance Communication - which is facing massive debt - managed to successfully clear all payments due to Ericsson less than 24 hours before the expiry of Supreme Court's deadline.

"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 our strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture," he said in a brief statement issued through the company spokesperson.

"The requisite payment of Rs 550 crore and interest thereon to Ericsson has been completed today in compliance of the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court," said the company spokesperson.

On February 20, Reliance Communication chairman Anil Ambani and two directors – Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani - were found guilty of contempt of court by the apex court in a contempt petition filed by Ericsson India over Ambani's firm's failure to clear its dues of Rs 550 crore after selling its assets to Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio.

The SC had ordered Anil Ambani and 2 directors to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson India within 4 weeks or face three months in jail. A fine of Rs 1 crore was also imposed by the top court on each on them. 

The SC bench, comprising Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran, said the three Reliance companies failed to adhere to the 120 days deadline and 60 days extra given by the apex court to pay the required amount to Ericsson.

It is to be noted that Ericsson India had signed a seven-year deal in 2014 with Reliance Communication to operate and manage the telecom network of RCom across India. The company had filed a plea before National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) alleging that Anil Ambani's company had not paid it the dues of over 1,500 crore.

(with PTI inputs)