Pedestrians walk past a Reliance Communications Ltd. Mobile Store in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

RCom Urges Telecom Department To Grant Compliance For Spectrum Deal

With its spectrum deal virtually in a limbo, Reliance Communications Ltd. on Thursday urged the telecom department to grant it the “long-awaited no-objection certificate” to comply with the Supreme Court order in “letter and spirit”.

The statement came a day after senior officials of RCom and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. met the telecom secretary to discuss outstanding issues raised by the Department of Telecom over payment related to the spectrum sale deal between the two companies.

The Anil Ambani-owned company said it remains committed to discharge any outstanding or disputed amount subject to final adjudication.

RCom, in a statement, asserted that the requirement of giving the bank guarantee as per the telecom department’s demand has been substituted by the orders of the telecom tribunal and the Supreme Court, and that its unit Reliance Realty had provided a non-disposal undertaking and corporate guarantee.

“Hence, compliance with the trading guidelines is met,” RCom’s statement said.

The DoT has, so far, held its position that the deal cannot be cleared unless there is clarity on payment of dues and associated charges, particularly as the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliane Jio has refused to take any payment liability of his younger brother’s firm to conclude the spectrum trading deal between the two companies.

RCom, being a continuing licensee with the DoT, remains committed to discharge any outstanding or disputed amount subject to final adjudication.

“The requirement of giving the bank guarantee as per DoT’s demand has been substituted by the orders of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Court, with Reliance Realty providing a non-disposal undertaking and corporate guarantee,” RCom said on Thursday.

The statement said the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has adjourned the Ericsson matter to Jan. 22, 2019 to take into consideration the outcome of the decision of the Supreme Court, where the related matter is pending consideration.

“Reliance Infratel Minority Investors’ matter has also been adjourned to Jan. 22, 2019. A copy of the detailed NCLAT order is awaited,” it added.

RCom has offered the telecom department corporate guarantee of Rs 1,400 crore issued by Reliance Realty and an undertaking from Reliance Realty not to alienate property for a value of Rs 1,400 crore, towards approving sale of its spectrum to Reliance Jio.

DoT’s reluctance to give a go-ahead to the spectrum deal arises from Reliance Jio’s purported denial to take on past liabilities of RCom.

Ericsson and Reliance Infratel filed insolvency plea against RCom for failure to clear their dues. RCom has promised to clear them once its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio is completed.

Also read: Supreme Court Rejects RCom’s Plea Seeking More Time To Pay Ericsson