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Supreme Court adjourns Ericsson contempt hearing to Wednesday

Aashish Aryan/New Delhi 12 Feb 19 | 07:47 PM

Anil Ambani

The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing in the contempt plea moved by Ericsson India against Reliance Communications’ Chairman Anil Ambani to Wednesday as the case could not be taken up due to the paucity of time. The top court was hearing the contempt petition moved by Ericsson against Ambani as his company has failed to pay Rs 550 crore the former.

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A two-judge bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman asked Ambani, who was present in the court on Tuesday, to be personally present in the court on Wednesday too. In the third contempt petition moved by Ericsson, it has alleged that the insolvency route taken by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) has "dishonest intention" intended to frustrate the orders of the court.

The RCom board had on February 1 decided to file for insolvency after noting that despite the passage of over 18 months, lenders had received zero proceeds from proposed asset monetisation plans, and the overall debt resolution process was yet to make any headway.

On Tuesday, Ericsson India also alleged that RCom had committed a series of contempt of court orders and failed to pay Rs 550 crore despite repeated assurances. Citing a January 21 letter, Ericsson India today told the court that RCom had offered to clear all its dues provided the former withdrew its contempt petition against the latter. The Swedish telecommunication maker, however, refused the offer and asked RCom to first pay, senior advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for Ericsson told the court.

Apart from RCom, Ericsson also wants to initiate contempt proceedings against the chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) as it the lead banker for the Joint Lenders Forum, which had allowed the spectrum sale of RCom to RJio. Ericsson said SBI must be held liable for the non-payment of dues till date.

On Tuesday, it also alleged that despite the completion of sale of RCom's fibre and related infrastructure worth Rs 3,000 crore to RJio, the dues of the company were not paid. “We are in complete dark," Dave said.

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