Ericsson has brought a new contempt case against RCom chairman Anil Ambani, and has also issued a legal challenge against the State Bank of India (SBI).
The new filings are the latest twist in a long-running legal dispute between Ericsson and RCom (Reliance Communications), with the Swedish vendor arguing that the Indian operator owes it over $70 million in unpaid service charges.
The SBI has been targeted by Ericsson as its chairman Rajnish Kumar was the financial lead on the asset monetisation strategy that RCom hoped to use to pay off its debts. Ericsson told the Supreme Court that the bank had not fulfilled assurances that it would settle RCom’s debts.
Ericsson has targeted Ambani with a third contempt petition after it emerged that RCom has filed for fast-track insolvency proceedings, having failed to procure the regulatory approvals required to complete an asset sale to Jio. RCom had planned to use the proceeds from this sale to settle its debt.
The Economic Times reported that Ericsson has petitioned the Supreme Court to freeze Ambani’s personal assets and bar him from travelling overseas, citing “multiple” violations of court orders as justification. The vendor has repeatedly demanded Ambani’s arrest.
RCom has only paid INR1.31 billion ($18.6 million) of the agreed $70 million, having promised to pay the remainder once it had sold its assets to Jio. Its case is not helped as it has missed a number of extended deadlines to repay the debt.