13 March 2019: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition by Reliance Communications which has approached the tribunal seeking the release of income tax refunds to clear dues of Ericsson.
Lenders of RCom have opposed the plea.
After hearing both the sides, the NCLAT bench headed by Chairperson S J Mukhopadhyay reserved the order in the case.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal appearing for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications appealed for payment to be made to Ericsson from the trust and retention account held by SBI under which assets of telecom firm have been mortgaged.
Senior lawyer Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for SBI argued for rejection of the RCom’s appeal, contending that it will lead to outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party.
He said that RCom asset monetisation deal failed because Reliance Jio refused to take responsibility of past dues of the Anil Ambani-led firm before the DoT and hence it is not liable to make payment on behalf of RCom.
RCom has been asked by both the Supreme Court and the NCLAT to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson.
The company has paid Rs 118 crore to Ericsson and if it fails to pay the rest of the amount then RCom group Chairman Anil Ambani may have to face jail term for the contempt of court order.