In a major setback to Reliance Communications (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held him and his two directors guilty of contempt in pleas filed by telecom equipment maker Ericsson for not clearing its dues of Rs 550 crore.
A bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saharan asked Ambani to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson within four weeks and warned he would face three months jail if its orders were not followed.
Additionally, apex court has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them, if not deposited within a month they will have to serve 1-month jail.
The bench pronounced the verdict after Ericsson dragged Ambani to court after RCom failed to clear its dues despite having given an undertaking to pay the amount.
“Three Reliance companies had no intention of payment of money, it amounts to contempt,” SC said in its judgement.
“Unconditional apology by Reliance can’t be accepted given the attitude of the deponent to the highest court of the land,” SC said
The contempt plea has been filed against Ambani, Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth, Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani and SBI chairman.