The Supreme Court has granted Reliance Communication Ltd a deadline of December 15, in order to clear the dues of Rs. 550 crores to telecom equipment maker Ericsson India, stating that delayed payment would attract an interest of 12 per cent per annum.
Ericsson’s has filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against RCom Chairman Anil Ambani and others after they failed to pay Rs. 550 crores towards the settlement to the company by September end.
A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman stated that it was the last opportunity provided to RCom for clearing the settlement amount. It said that Ericsson can revive its contempt plea against Reliance if the settlement amount is not paid by December 15.
Ericsson India had alleged that RCom has “willfully and consciously” defied the order dated August 3 of the top court and the undertaking given before it to pay Rs 550 by September end this year. “They have no respect for the law of the nation and have abused the due process of law,” the plea had said.
Ericsson India, which had signed a 7-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage RCom’s nationwide telecom network, had alleged that it had not been paid the dues of over Rs. 1,500 crores and challenged the debt-ridden firm before National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
The Supreme court had examined the May 30 interim order of the NCLAT and noted that Ericsson India was willing to settle its debt of over Rs 1,500 crore for a sum of Rs 550 crore which was to be paid by RCom within 120 days.