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SC holds Anil Ambani guilty of contempt, give month to pay dues to Ericsson or face jail

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Reliance Communications (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani and two directors in his company were today (Wednesday, Feb 20) held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court for failing to pay Rs 550 crore dues owed to Swedish telecom giant Ericsson despite court orders and their undertaking to the court.

A bench of justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran asked Ambani and the two directors to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson within four weeks, failing which they would face three months’ jail term.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them and if the amount is not deposited within a month, then 1-month jail will be awarded. The other two directors are Reliance Telecom chairman Satish Seth and Reliance Infratel chairperson Chhaya Virani.

It directed that Rs 118 crore already deposited by Reliance Group in the apex court’s registry be disbursed to Ericsson within a week.

The Court further held that the unconditional apology given by Reliance cannot be accepted, in light of its cavalier attitude towards the highest Court of the land.

RCom shares price dropped as much as 9.2 per cent to Rs 5.45 after the court order.

The court had reserved its judgment last week after hearing the two sides, during which senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Ericsson India in the case, had invoked the Rafale deal to target Ambani.

“They have money for Rafale. Somebody who is getting involved in every conceivable project has no money to pay Rs 550 crore to us and honour this Court’s order,” he told the bench. This was opposed vehemently by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Anil Ambani

“To say that Anil Ambani gave a personal undertaking and that it was unconditional is a travesty of justice … It was conditional,” Rohatgi said. Rohatgi told the bench that the sale which was expected to net Rs 18,100 crore brought in only Rs 780 crore.

Dave submitted that this money from the sale was given to the Department of Telecommunications instead of Ericsson. Rohatgi replied that lenders had done this to keep the telecom licence alive as without that, there would be nothing.

He told the top court that with the failure of its assets sale deal with elder brother Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, Anil Ambani’s company has entered insolvency proceedings and is not in control of the funds.

RCom had told the court they had tried to move “heaven and earth” to ensure Ericsson gets its due but was unable to do so due to failure of assets sale deal with Jio.

However, the Supreme Court Bench slammed Ambani for his “cavalier attitude” and “wilful disobedience” of the court’s earlier orders to pay the dues Reliance Communication owed to Swedish telecom Ericsson company.

The court said it wasn’t sending Ambani to jail straight away, despite finding him guilty of contempt and willful disobedience of its orders because the bench felt that “the contempt can be purged by clearing the payments with interest.”

CJI Gogoi sacks two SC officials for changing order on contempt case against Anil Ambani

The Bench dismissed their “unconditional apology” for disobeying the orders of the highest court of the country.

“RCom had no intention to abide with the undertakings… Undertakings were false to the knowledge of the RCom and group companies. This amounts to contempt of court,” Justice Nariman said while reading out the judgment.

The contempt petition was filed by Ericsson, contending that Reliance had committed gross contempt by disobeying orders of the Supreme Court, which had directed it to pay Rs. 550 crores to Ericsson towards settlement of dues.

On August 3, the Supreme Court had ordered that the payment of Rs. 550 crore be made on or before September 30.

Subsequently, Reliance sought an extension of time for making the payment, which was allowed by the Supreme Court. On October 23, the Court said that as a “last opportunity”, it will allow Reliance to make the payment along with interest before December 15, 2018.

Before the expiry of the said date, Reliance once again filed an application for extension of the deadline, but the same was withdrawn on December 14 after it realized that the Court was not inclined to entertain the application.

Ericsson thereafter sought the initiation of contempt proceedings against Reliance Communications and Anil Ambani for violation of the Supreme Court orders of August 3 and October 23.

In the petition filed through advocate Bhargava V Desai, Ericsson had prayed that Anil Ambani, Chairperson of Reliance Communications, be detained in civil prison till the dues along with interest are cleared.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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UP government cancels Reserve Civil Police recruitment exam, says fresh test to be held within 6 months

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath posted on X that there can be no compromise with the sanctity of examinations. He assured the people that strict action will be taken to address any attempts to sabotage the efforts of aspiring candidates. He said firm action was pledged against those found responsible for such misconduct.

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The government of Uttar Pradesh cancelled the Reserve Civil Police recruitment exam on Saturday and said a new exam to be conducted within 6 months. The examination took place on February 17 and 18th. According to reports there were allegations of the question paper being leaked.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath posted on X that there can be no compromise with the sanctity of examinations. He assured the people that strict action will be taken to address any attempts to sabotage the efforts of aspiring candidates. He said firm action was pledged against those found responsible for such misconduct.The re-examination will be held in next 6 months and the candidates will be taken to the exam centres free of cost by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses.

The Yogi government has ordered an investigation into suspected irregularities and tampering in the Review officer/Assistant Review Officer (RO/ARO) examination. The investigation is focusing on administrative issues rather than the content of the exam paper. The state government also directed for registration of an FIR against those found responsible for the leak. The recruitment exam took place in two shifts in which more than 48 lakh candidates had applied and 43 lakh had appeared for the examination.

According to reports there was a paper leak on social media and it was available at a price between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Many candidates had it 8-12 hours before the commencement of the examination. The UP Police recruitment and promotion board on Monday constituted an internal committee to carry out investigation in the alleged paper leak and viral question papers on social media.Hundreds of candidates who had appeared for the UP constable recruitment examination 2024 gathered at Eco Garden, Lucknow, on Friday and staged a massive protest demanding re-examination

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman travels by Mumbai local, takes selfies with commuters

Finance Minister Sitharaman took a ride in a local from Ghatkopar to Kalyan.

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday travelled in a Mumbai local train and interacted with commuters while travelling from Ghatkopar to Kalyan. She also took pictures with them.

Sitharaman left commuters by surprise when she made her way inside their coaches. This morning, the commuters had an unusual co-passenger travelling with them. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the passengers.

Taking to X, Sitharaman’s office informed that the Finance Minister took a ride in a local from Ghatkopar to Kalyan. The office also shared pictures of Sitharaman taking selfies with the youngsters and office-goers.

Later in the day, Sitharaman also attended the inauguration ceremony of the BITS Pilani news campus in Kalyan, Maharashtra. Addressing the ceremony, she said that a growing India draws from its skilled youths who contributed to the nation’s development.

She further said that the impact of a well-rounded education is such that different services and different domains benefit from their presence, adding that, she said that most often the government is lectured by the Western top leader that India should have a culture of charity, to which she thoroughly disagreed with them by giving them the example of institution like BITS, which promotes good education, funds needy students and sets a good example of various other charitable work they have done, Sitharaman added.

Furthermore, Sitharaman said that the innovation from India to innovate for India was the principle with which her government has worked, so innovation gets all the support.

Speaking about the recent budget, She said that, the vote on the account budget, she had announced that there would be a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore given for the corpus for a special purpose vehicle which will be created by the government, which will be funding innovations and research and development activities, she asserted.

BITS Pilani, an institution which started just from being a ‘Paathshala’, is now an institution where people now long to study, she added. There have been 7,400 CEOs from BITS Pilani, many in Fortune 500 companies, she further added. Over 3,300 academicians, including Vice-Chancellors, Directors, and Heads of Departments in prestigious universities globally, are from BITS Pilani, she said at the inauguration of BITS.

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BJP MP Manoj Tiwari reacts to AAP-Congress Alliance, reminds CM Kejriwal of his 2012 jail promise

AAP and Congress announced an alliance in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Goa, and Chandigarh on Saturday.

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BJP MP Manoj Tiwari on Saturday reminded Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal of his promise of sending leaders of Congress Party to jail. This comes after the announcement of the AAP and Congress’ seat sharing deal for upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.

Using the metaphor chor chor mausere bhai which translates in English, birds of a feather flock together, Tiwari said, this is what it is happening between AAP and Congress. He alleged that AAP workers are disappointed with CM Kejriwal as the used to speak about putting Congress leaders in jail but now he is at their feet.

AAP was formed after Arvind Kejriwal launched anti-corruption protests in Delhi. At that time congress was in power in both Delhi and the Centre.

Later when the party was formed in 2012, Arvind Kejriwal said that he would put corrupt leaders in jail within six months of coming to power.

Tiwari said that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP had ousted Congress from Delhi and Punjab and now the Chief Minister is sharing the stage with Rahul Gandhi.

He also said BJP and Prime Minister Modi are in everyone’s heart and the people of Delhi will decide everything as it is clear now that the top leaders of AAP and Congress are the same.

Meanwhile, AAP leader Atishi said that CM Kejriwal can be arrested soon. She alleged that ever since the INDIA bloc seat sharing was nearly finalised, Kejriwal started getting threats from everwhere. She also mentioned that the party members were told if they didn’t exit the alliance, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would frame charges against Arvind Kejriwal to arrest him.

She claimed that the party had the information that the CBI would issue a notice on Monday and would arrest CM Kejriwal in a few days.

AAP and Congress announced an alliance in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Goa, and Chandigarh on Saturday.

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