Since a decade and a half split of Ambani brothers, Mukesh Ambani on Monday stepped in just two days ahead of the deadline given by SC to save brother Anil from prison by helping him clear the dues of Rs 453 crore RCom owed Ericsson.
This payment ended up 18 months old legal battle with Ericsson.
It is still not clear whether the help given by the elder brother is as a loan or an outright grant. Jio and RCom officially terminated the various agreements they had signed for the sale of telecom assets.
After the brothers patch-up, Anil Ambani said, “My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture.”
On February 20, Ericsson India had filed a contempt of court case against Anil Ambani accusing him of nonpayment of dues worth Rs 550 crore. SC held Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court and issued a notice to clear Ericsson dues within one month. Failure of the payment was to result in 3 months of imprisonment.
The Supreme Court ordered Reliance Communications to pay Rs 453 crores to Ericsson. Along with Anil Ambani, Satish Seth, chairman of Reliance Telecom and Chhaya Virani, chairperson of Reliance Infratel were also held guilty of contempt. Supreme Court also told Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel to pay a fine of Rs 1 crore each within four weeks to the Supreme Court registry.
The court said RCom showed no intentions to follow its past orders and was willfully not paying the amount to Ericsson, despite having the money.
After the verdict announced, Anil Ambani’s advocate Mukul Rohatgi, said “We respect the Supreme Court’s order. We have faced our difficulties. However, the court ruled the way it has ruled. I am sure Rcom will honor the Supreme Court’s order.”