India’s Supreme Court granted Reliance Communications (RCom) an extension on paying back an INR5.5 billion ($74.8 million) debt it owes Ericsson on the basis the operator has faced difficulties selling assets to Reliance Jio.
Ericsson filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court after RCom missed a 30 September deadline to pay the vendor as part of a legal settlement, which the operator had requested a 60-day extension on.
RCom said it was forced to do so because it had planned to pay the fee from the proceeds of its deal with Jio. Earlier this month, the operator hit out at India’s Department of Telecommunications for creating hurdles around the deal.
Now the court has given RCom until 15 December to pay the original amount plus interest calculated at 12 per cent per annum. It made it clear that no further extension will be granted.
Justice Rohinton Nariman, who headed a two-judge bench on the issue, was quoted by local media as saying: “You [RCom] ask for a reasonable period, we will give you and after that its over”.
Ericsson had also filed a contempt petition against RCom’s chairman Anil Ambani for non-payment, which the the courts will hear after 15 December.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back