Billionaire Anil Ambani on Monday thanked his brother Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani for extending "timely support" after his debt-laden firm Reliance Communication cleared payments due to a service provider just a day before expiry of deadline set by the Supreme Court.
"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," he said in a brief statement issued through the company spokesperson.
The statement said RCom has made requisite payment of Rs 550 crore and interest thereon to Ericsson.
Failure to cough up the dues would have meant that RCom chairman Anil Ambani would have faced a three-month jail term.
Observing there was a 'wilful default', the Supreme Court last month held Ambani guilty of contempt of court and ordered the debt-laden company to clear the dues to Ericsson within four weeks or face a three-month jail term. A source in the know said RCom has paid Rs 458.7 crore to Ericsson as per the SC directive, but did not divulge details. However, Ericsson could not be reached for comments.
Last month, a bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said if the 'contemnors' failed to make the payments within the specified period, they will undergo a jail term of three months. The top court also directed Reliance Communication, Reliance Telecommunication and Reliance Infratel to deposit Rs 1 crore each in four weeks to the court registry. If not, the chairpersons of these companies will have to undergo additional jail term of one month.
It had also directed that Rs 118 crore already deposited by Reliance Group in the apex court registry be disbursed to Ericsson within a week.
The bench said the three Reliance companies did not adhere to the 120 days deadline and 60 days extra given by the court to pay the Rs 550 crore to Ericsson. It said the undertakings given in the court were false to the knowledge of the court and affected the administration of justice.
On February 13, the Supreme Court had reserved its judgment when Ericsson India alleged that the Reliance Group has money to invest in the Rafale jet deal but was unable to clear its Rs 550 crore dues, a charge vehemently denied by the Anil Ambani-led company.
Ericsson India, which signed a seven-year deal in 2014 to operate and manage RCom's nationwide telecom network, alleged that it had not been paid the outstanding dues and challenged the debt-ridden firm (RCom has a staggering Rs 46,000 crore debt) before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.
(With PTI inputs)