Indian court orders Anil Ambani to pay debt or go to jail

21 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: India’s top court told billionaire tycoon Anil Ambani Wednesday he must pay his debts to Sweden’s Ericsson or go to jail, the latest twist in a saga that forced his telecom company to file for bankruptcy, reports AFP.

Ambani’s debt-laden Reliance Communications is some $4 billion dollars in debt after a brutal telecom price war that pitched him against his brother Mukesh—India’s richest man—and gripped the country’s business community.

Judges found Anil Ambani, 59, had refused to pay telecom giant Ericsson 5.5 billion rupees ($77 million) as previously ordered by the Supreme Court.

They ruled the billionaire will be jailed for three months if 4.5 billion rupees are not stumped up within four weeks.

Ambani’s firm said it will comply with the ruling and pay the debt. Some 1.0 billion rupees have already been deposited with the court, which said the sum will be handed to Ericsson. Earlier this year, Reliance Communications said it had decided to start insolvency proceedings after failing to sell assets to pay back lenders.