Ex Supreme Court Staff Arrested for Altering Anil Ambani Order

The arrested were identified as court master Manav Sharma and assistant registrar Tapan Kumar Chakraborty.

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The Delhi Police on Monday, 8 April, arrested two former employees of the Supreme Court for allegedly posting wrong information on the court’s website that excused the personal appearance of industrialist Anil Ambani in the Rs 400 cr Ericsson case, reported NDTV.

What Happened

The incident dates back to 7 January, when a bench of Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Sharan directed Anil Ambani’s personal presence on the contempt plea by Swedish telecom group Ericsson.

However, when the order was uploaded on the website, it said Anil Ambani’s presence was not required in the court, instead of saying his appearance was needed.

The tampered order said, “personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is dispensed with.”

This had been brought to the court’s notice by Ericsson counsel and a corrected order was uploaded on the website on 10 January.

What We Know

The arrested were identified as court master Manav Sharma and assistant registrar Tapan Kumar Chakraborty. The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi sacked the employees following a complaint that they tampered with an order of the court.

A senior police officer had registered an FIR after they received a complaint from the administration department of the Supreme Court.

The Backdrop

Ericsson India had signed a seven-year deal with RCom in 2014 to manage and operate its network. Last year, it went to the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani's company over unpaid dues of Rs 576.77 crore.

Anil Ambani had told the court that his company had entered insolvency proceedings due to the failure of sale of assets and was thus, not in control of funds.

Meanwhile, Ericsson had argued that the Reliance Group had the money to invest in the Rafale jet deal, but had failed to clear its dues.

The top court in February had directed Anil Ambani's RCom and two of its directors to pay Ericsson its dues within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.

Anil Ambani on 18 March, paid the Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson Rs 458.77 crore in dues a day before the apex court’s deadline, with the help of his brother Mukesh Ambani.

(With inputs from NDTV.)

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