Investors oppose RCom's plea to use IT refunds to settle Ericsson's dues at NCLAT

The NCLAT was hearing RCom's plea, which has approached the appellate tribunal seeking waiver over the moratorium placed by it on February 4.

Investors oppose RCom's plea to use IT refunds to settle Ericsson's dues at NCLAT

New Delhi: Financial creditors of the debt ridden Reliance Communications Wednesday opposed its plea to release the Income tax refunds to clear dues of Ericsson before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

The NCLAT was hearing RCom's plea, which has approached the appellate tribunal seeking waiver over the moratorium placed by it on February 4.

A two-member bench of the NCLAT headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya has directed the financial creditors of the company, including the State Bank of India, to file their reply on the issue by March 8.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibbal, appearing for RCom, requested the appellate tribunal to allow the release of money directly into the account of Ericsson, to which the ADAG group firm has to pay Rs 550 crore.

However, this was opposed by senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal and others who were representing the financial organisations.

"This tribunal is not the appropriate forum to decide the issue. The Supreme Court has already considered the issue. The sum has to come independently," said Venugopal, who was appearing for the SBI.

The appellate tribunal has directed to list the matter on March 11 for next hearing.

On February 20, the Supreme Court held RCom chairman Anil Ambani guilty along with two others of contempt of court for wilfully violating its order by not paying Rs 550-crore dues to telecom equipment maker Ericsson.

The apex court had said they faced a three-month jail term if remaining Rs 453 crore was not paid to the telecom equipment maker in four weeks.

Earlier on February 4, the appellate tribunal had said that until further orders of the NCLAT or the Supreme Court, no one can sell, alienate, or create third party rights over RCom's assets.

"Until further orders, the Appellants, corporate debtor (RCom), Respondent (Ericsson India), guarantors or any third party will not sell, transfer or alienate any moveable or immoveable property of RCom nor invoke any guarantee or mortgage or any other instrument without prior permission ..," the tribunal had said.