A bench comprising Justices R F 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 Supreme Court on Wednesday held Anil Ambani guilty of contempt and asked him and other two directors to pay Rs 453 crore within four weeks or else serve the jail term for three months.
The apex court also imposed a fine on Reliance Communications’ Anil Ambani and two of his directors of Rs 1 crore each for “cavalier attitude”.
The Supreme Court held that the RCom chairman as well as Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani breached the undertaking given to the apex court and related orders.
“Anil Ambani and others breached their undertaking,” the Supreme Court said, calling it “willful disobedience” of its order that they should repay Swedish Telecom Equipment maker Ericcson.
In a statement, a Reliance Communication Limited spokesperson said: “We respect the Supreme Court judgement. The RCOM Group shall comply with the same.”
Ambani, Seth and Virani were present in the courtroom when the verdict was pronounced. It directed that Rs 118 crore already deposited by Reliance Group in the apex court registry be disbursed to Ericsson within a week.
Below are the details of what the Supreme Court has said in its order.
The bench said the three Reliance companies did not adhere to the 120 days deadline and 60 days extra given by the apex 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.
The apex court specified that any unconditional apology given by Reliance needs to be rejected as they have breached the undertaking and order.
Minutes after pronouncement of the verdict, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Ambani, said he respects the decision of the apex court and expressed confidence that the group will honour the directions on payment of dues to Ericsson.
“We respect the Supreme Court’s order. We have faced our difficulties. However, the court ruled the way it has ruled,” Rohatgi told PTI.”I am sure Rcom will honour the Supreme Court’s order,” Rohatgi added.
It is important to note that Congress party president alleged Rafale scam regarding conclusion of offset partner of Anil Ambani Reliance by Dassault is done by Prime Minister Modi’s personal capacity .