A day after the Supreme Court asked debt-laden Reliance Communications (RCom) to submit Rs 453 crore in four weeks, Anil Ambani-led telecom company on Thursday urged lenders to urgently release Rs 260 crore it had received in Income Tax returns to pay telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
"Reliance Communications group has requested urgent approval from its lenders to release approx. Rs 260 crore received from Income Tax refunds, lying in its bank account, directly to Ericsson," RCom's spokesperson said in a media release.
He said that a sum of Rs 118 crore had already been deposited with the Supreme Court. "RCOM is confident of raising the balance approx Rs 200 crore for payment to Ericsson, in order that the entire Rs 550 crore plus interest thereon stands paid to Ericsson well within the time of 4 weeks allowed by the Supreme Court," he added.
Commenting on Supreme Court's order, RCOM said, "We respect the Supreme Court judgement. The RCom Group shall comply with same."
The Supreme Court on Wednesday held Reliance Communication Chairman Anil Ambani and two more directors guilty of contempt of court in a petition filed by Ericsson India against him over non-payment of dues worth over Rs 550 crore.
Additionally, the SC imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them. If they would fail to deposit the fine, one-month jail would be awarded, said the apex court.
As per the case records, Ericsson signed a managed service deal with RCom in January 2013, but the deal was terminated in September 2017 and dues were not paid to the Swedish company. Ericsson had filed three contempt petitions against Anil Ambani, Reliance telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani in the Supreme Court for not clearing its dues.
RCom has recently filed for bankruptcy with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) citing regulatory hurdles in concluding its Jio deal and high debt burden. In the view of Supreme Court's decision, it is likely that RCom's insolvency petition might not be accepted in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) (until Ericsson is paid off) because Ericsson moved the apex court before RCom's decision to file for bankruptcy.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar