RCom files contempt plea in SC against DoT for not approving spectrum sale

Anil Ambani
Reliance Communications on Wednesday moved a contempt petition in the Supreme court against Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for failing to provide the company with the No Objection Certificate (NOC) for sale of its spectrum to Reliance Jio Infocom, within the court-directed 7-day time period.

RCom's petition will be heard on Thursday.

The apex court had on November 30 asked Reliance Communications to furnish a corporate guarantee of Rs 14 billion within 2 days, following which the DoT had to give it NOC for the RCom-RJio spectrum sale deal within 7 days. 

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications had on December 3 furnished Rs 14-billion corporate guarantee for its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The 7-day period expired on December 10. 

A two-judge bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha had on November 30 asked Rcom to furnish a Rs 14-billion corporate guarantee after the company had repeatedly expressed its inability to furnish the bank guarantee as it was undergoing insolvency proceedings.

The company had also submitted that its asset sale to RJio could be jeopardised if the necessary approvals were not in place by mid-December, which would further put at risk its debt-repayment plans. 

As part of debt reductions efforts, Anil Ambani-led RCom had, in December 2017, signed a Rs 250-billion deal with elder brother Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio.

The deal included sale of assets mortgaged with different banks to avoid insolvency proceedings. The company expects to raise Rs 180 billion from sales of its wireless assets to RJio and real estate assets to Canada's Brookfield, and pare some of its Rs 460-billion debt.

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