Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Communications Ltd. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg) 

Financial Creditors Oppose RCom’s Plea To Use Tax Refunds To Settle Ericsson’s Dues

Financial creditors of the debt-ridden Reliance Communications Ltd. opposed its plea to release the income tax refunds to clear dues of Ericsson before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

The NCLAT was hearing RCom's plea, which has approached the appellate tribunal seeking waiver over the moratorium placed by it on Feb. 4.

A two-member bench of the NCLAT, headed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya, has directed the financial creditors of the company, including the State Bank of India, to file their reply on the issue by March 8.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for RCom, requested the appellate tribunal to allow the release of money directly into the account of Ericsson, to which the ADAG group firm has to pay Rs 550 crore.

This, however, was opposed by senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal and others who were representing the financial organisations.

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"This tribunal is not the appropriate forum to decide the issue. The Supreme Court has already considered the issue. The sum has to come independently," said Venugopal, who was appearing for the SBI.

The appellate tribunal has directed to list the matter on March 11 for the next hearing.

On Feb. 20, the Supreme Court held RCom chairman Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for willfully violating its order by not paying Rs 550-crore dues to telecom equipment maker Ericsson.

The apex court had said they faced a three-month jail term if remaining Rs 453 crore was not paid to the telecom equipment maker in four weeks.

Earlier on Feb. 4, the appellate tribunal had said that until further orders of the NCLAT or the Supreme Court, no one can sell, alienate, or create third-party rights over RCom's assets.

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