Billionaire and Reliance Communication (RCom) Chairperson Anil Ambani on Monday, 18 March, thanked his brother Mukesh Ambani and sister-in-law Nita Ambani for extending his company “timely support”.
This helped his debt-laden firm clear dues to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, just a day before the expiry of deadline set by the Supreme Court, thereby helping him avoid jail.
As per a company statement cited by news agency PTI, the RCom chairperson 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. I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture.”
The statement came hours after it was reported that RCom paid Rs 458.77 crore to Ericsson, thereby, clearing outstanding dues and fending off a possible jail term for its Chairperson Anil Ambani.
This was further confirmed by an Ericsson spokesperson who stated that the Swedish telecom company received the full payment from RCom, which included the current payment of Rs 458.7 crore and the earlier payment of 118 crore.
The report further highlighted that the payment by RCom included interest.
SC Had Earlier Held Anil Ambani in Contempt
The Supreme Court, on 20 February, had held Anil Ambani and two directors guilty of contempt of court for wilfully not paying Rs 550 crore to the Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
In its order, the apex court had said that Ambani and two directors have to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson India within four weeks.
The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran had added that a three-month jail term would have followed if they had failed to pay the amount within the time period assigned.
The two directors who had been held guilty of contempt are Reliance Telecom Chairperson Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel Chairperson Chhaya Virani.
The apex court had also directed Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel to pay Rs 1 crore each in four weeks to the apex court’s registry or the chairperson would have to serve an additional jail term of one month.
The apex court had also specified that any unconditional apology given by Reliance needs to be rejected as they have breached the undertaking and the order.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)