It was on 20th February 2019 when the Supreme Court of Indian held Anil Ambani guilty of contempt for not paying Rs.5050 crores dues that he owned to Ericsson. Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers, with about 40% of the world’s mobile traffic carried through their networks.
Anil Ambani asked for their services but could not pay them the agreed remuneration. The company lodged a case and dragged Anil Ambani to the Supreme Court of India after he failed to clear its dues. The court warned him and asked Anil Ambani to pay Ericsson within four weeks or else he would be liable to face three months jail.
It was in 2014 that Ericsson had signed a deal with Reliance Communications. The deal was to operate its nationwide tele commination networks. But Reliance Communication failed to pay Ericsson the agreed amount. The company, Ericsson, moved an insolvency petition in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to recover pending dues of Rs 1,150 crore — it was admitted in May last year 2018.
The dispute was about to get settled when Reliance offered to pay Rs. 550 crores by 30th September 2018. Reliance failed to pay the settled amount also and that was the time when Ericsson took the case legally and approached the Supreme Court of India. By the court, Reliance Communications was given 15th December 2018 as a deadline to clear all possible dues, but the companied failed to adhere to the deadlines given by the court. Following this Ericsson requested the court again on 4th of January 2019 for the initiation of the contempt.
The dues were finally cleared by Mukesh Ambani. Thanking the elder brother for his “on time support”, Anil Ambani 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 our strong family values by extending this timely support.”
He in his statement also added,
“I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture,” Anil Ambani said in a statement. A spokesperson for RCom said “the requisite payment of Rs 550 crore and interest thereon to Ericsson has been completed today in compliance of the judgment of the Supreme Court”.
Reliance as a company had already deposited Rs 118 crores with the Supreme Court but the total payment to Ericsson was a total of Rs. 580 crores which included the penalty interest also. The deadline for Reliance to make the final payment was March 19 which the company managed to pay with the help of elder brother Mukesh Ambani.
On Monday, 18th March, Reliance said that they have terminated the agreements with Jio which was controlled by Mukesh Ambani, for the sale of certain specified telecom assets through mutual agreement. Reliance communication stated, “The said transactions have become incapable of being consummated in accordance with the terms thereof, on account of various factors and developments since the execution of the said agreements nearly 15 months ago.”
NCLAT (National Company Law Act Tribunal) passed an order restraining the sale, transfer or alienation of any movable or immovable property of Reliance Communications, RTL and RITL, the company said.