Ericsson seeks to have RCom chair jailed over unpaid dues

04 Jan 2019

The ongoing legal battle between Ericsson and Reliance Communications over unpaid dues has turned uglier, with Ericsson now seeking to have its chairman Anil Ambani jailed for contempt of court.

Ericsson has filed a second contempt petition in India's Supreme Court, calling for Ambani to be detained in civil prison and barred from overseas travel unless he ensures payment of 5.5 billion rupees ($78.4 million) to the Swedish vendor, the Economic Times reported.

Ambani had earlier given a personal guarantee for the unpaid dues with the Supreme Court as part of Ericsson's insolvency proceedings against the operator.

Ericsson has filed the petition alleging non-compliance of a court order to make the payment. According to the report, if found guilty, Ambani could be jailed for up to six months.

But Reliance Communications is continuing to blame India's Department of Telecom for the delayed payments to creditors, due to the department's refusal to approve the planned sale of its spectrum assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm as part of its exit from the mobile business.

The department is in turn justifying its decision not to approve the sale based on Reliance Jio's refusal to take liability for Reliance Communications' unpaid spectrum and related dues.

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