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Supreme Court holds Anil Ambani guilty of contempt in Ericsson case

The Supreme Court today held Reliance Communications (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for wilfully violating its order and not paying its dues of 550 crore rupees to Telecom equipment maker Ericsson. The apex court held that the RCom chairman and Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani breached the undertaking given to the court and the related orders.

The court said the RCom chairman and others will have to purge the contempt by paying 453 crore rupees to Ericsson in 4 weeks. A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran said if the contemnor failed to make the payments within the specified period, they will undergo a jail term of three months.

The court also directed Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel to pay 1 crore rupees each in four weeks to the apex court’s registry or the chairman will have to undergo additional jail term of one month. It directed that the 118 crore rupees already deposited by Reliance Group in the apex court’s registry be disbursed to Ericsson. The Supreme Court specified that any unconditional apology given by Reliance needs to be rejected as they have breached the undertaking and order.

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