The Supreme Court of India has given four weeks’ time to Reliance Communications to file its response to a contempt petition filed by telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
Reliance Communications later said it has deposited a partial payment of Rs 131 crore to Ericsson with the Supreme Court Registry, from the operational funds available with the company.
The Anil Ambani group company accused Ericsson, one of its operational unsecured creditors, of attempting a media trial and sensationalising the issue of dues recovery. It also said this might put the interest of even secured lenders at risk.
Reliance Communications said it remains committed to clearing the dues of Ericsson from spectrum realisation. However, the approval for the same is pending with the government.
Ericsson earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for the second time against Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani for not complying with its order to clear dues of Rs 550 crore.
Reliance Communications deadline to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson ended on December 15, which was also personally guaranteed by Anil Ambani. HSBC Daisy Investment, along with a clutch of other investors, holds nearly 4 percent stake in Reliance Commuunications subsidiary Reliance Infratel.
Reliance Communications has to settle the dues, complete the cases pending before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) and get the DoT approval to sell spectrum before it can close the deal signed with Reliance Jio in December 2017.