Simple Taste, Drive One Car: Ambani to UK Court in China Bank Case

On Friday, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani told a UK court that he has a “very disciplined” lifestyle.

2 min read
File image of RCom chairman Anil Ambani.

On Friday, 25 September, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani told a UK court that he has a “very disciplined” lifestyle. He said that he drives just one car and sold his jewellery to pay for legal fees,The Times of India reported.

He appeared via videolink from Mumbai in a lawsuit filed by the Chinese banks over an alleged breach of a personal guarantee on a debt refinancing loan of around $925 million in February 2012.

"My needs are not vast and my lifestyle is very disciplined," Ambani told the London court, PTI reported.

When the counsel for the banks questioned him about his luxury cars and other claims suggesting that he has a lavish lifestyle, Ambani said that they are "speculative" media stories.

"Mr Anil Ambani has always been a simple man of simple tastes, contrary to exaggerated perceptions of his flamboyance and lavish lifestyle," a spokesperson for Anil Ambani said.

‘Met Legal Expense By Sale of Jewellery’

According to the TOI report, he said that he had received an amount of Rs 9.9 crore for the jewellery he possessed between January and June 2020 and “now does not own anything...nothing meaningful.”

“My expenses are minimal and being borne by wife and family. I don’t have a lavish lifestyle and no other income. I met legal expense by sale of jewellery and, if I have to meet further expenses, (it) will be subject to approval by the court to dispose of other assets,” he said, TOI reported.

On 22 May, the UK High Court had told Ambani to pay a debt of Rs 5,281 crore and Rs 7 crore to the Chinese banks by 12 June but he didn’t pay the amount. After which, the Chinese banks asked for an order on disclosure of assets.

During the cross examination on Friday, he was also asked about credit card bills that showed shopping in London, California, Beijing, among others. To which, he reportedly replied that it was his mother’s shopping.

In February 2020, a UK court had directed Anil Ambani to pay $100 million towards a conditional order granted to the three Chinese banks.

In what was in effect a deposit to be paid into court pending a full trial in the case, Judge David Waksman had set a six-week timeline for such a payment to be made as he concluded that he did not accept Ambani's defence that his net worth was nearly zero or that his family would not step in to assist him when “push came to shove”.

(With inputs from PTI, The Times of India)

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