Faced with the prospect of spending four weeks in jail, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications has paid Rs 453 crore to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, reported news agency Reuters quoting a spokesperson.
This was after the Supreme Court last month found billionaire businessman guilty of contempt on a plea filed by Ericsson India. The highest court of India had also found his two directors guilty for not clearing its dues of Rs 550 crore to the Swedish company.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran had told Ambani, who’s a close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to clear the dues to Ericsson within four weeks to purge contempt. The top court had also told him to be prepared to go to jail if he failed to clear the dues of Rs 453 crore within the next four weeks.
The court also fined he three Reliance Companies, namely RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance InfraTel Rs one crore each after holding them guilty of contempt as well.
Swedish mobile company Ericsson had approached the Supreme Court to prevent Anil Ambani and two senior executives from his company from leaving India. It had accused Anil Ambani of willfully defaulting on previously- promised payment of Rs 550 crore by alleged abuse of process of law.
Ambani appeared in the Supreme Court on 12 and 13 February in the contempt case. While on the first day, he was in the court for two hours, he spent nearly the whole day on the following day.
The contempt case against Ambani had assumed extraordinary significance after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi sacked two Supreme Court employees, known as court masters, for tampering with a court order related to the case.