Ericsson filed a second contempt of court proceeding against the head of Reliance Communications (RCom) for the company’s failure to pay a INR5.5 billion ($78.5 million) settlement of unpaid service charges, The Economic Times (ET) reported.
The vendor requested in the petition to the Supreme Court that RCom chairman Anil Ambani be detained in civil prison and be barred from leaving the country, the newspaper said. Ambani provided the court with a personal guarantee.
Meanwhile, RCom filed a case against the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), claiming delays in approving a long-planned spectrum sale meant it was unable to pay Ericsson.
The court will hear both cases on Monday (7 January), ET said.
The former mobile operator missed the original payment deadline of 30 September, and last month the high court turned down a plea to extend a 15 December deadline, which it also missed. The earlier extension was granted by the court due to a delay in finalising the sale of its assets to Reliance Jio.
A year ago RCom reached a deal with Jio to sell off assets including 800MHz spectrum to repay part of its huge debt. DoT later demanded payment of the dues as a condition for approving the agreement, but RCom is disputing the spectrum charge in court.
DoT last month rejected the spectrum deal on the grounds it goes against trading guidelines after Jio sought assurances it won’t be held responsible for RCom’s past spectrum-related charges, which could total as much as INR29.5 billion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back