jail for three months
While the divergence in fortunes of the two brothers since the split has been evident to the world for many years now, it was underlined in the starkest possible terms yet by Anil’s statement saying, “My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture.”
It also represents another significant milestone in the journey since Dhirubhai Ambani’s death in 2002 – of rancor and rift, a division in the Reliance empire, and personal estrangement, followed in the last few years by a thaw in relations and a degree of rapprochement, especially during the two recent weddings of Mukesh and Nita Ambani’s daughter Isha and son Akash.
There have been reports through the years of Dhirubhai’s wife Kokilaben’s keenness that the brothers patch up and that Mukesh extend Anil a helping hand.
Indeed, the December 28, 2017, deal – on Dhirubhai’s 85th birth anniversary – under which Mukesh’s Jio was to buy about Rs 23,000 crore of debt-laden RCom’s infrastructure assets (including spectrum and towers) – was widely seen as a form of bail-out.
But the deal ran into a number of hurdles, including objections from the department of telecom, which RCom cited for its failure to pay Ericsson for its services. With the SC holding three group companies in contempt and threatening Anil with jail, Mukesh threw him a lifeline just two days ahead of deadline.
It is unclear as to whether the money is in the form of a loan or an outright grant, or is compensation for the deal falling through. On Monday, Jio and RCom officially terminated the various agreements they had signed for the sale of telecom assets.
An RComm spokesman said, “The requisite payment of Rs 550 crore and interest thereon to Ericsson has been completed today in compliance of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.” The group had earlier deposited over Rs 100 crore; Monday’s payment brings the curtain down on its 18-month-old legal battle with Ericsson.
Mukesh saves Anil from jail, helps him clear Rs 453 crore Ericsson dues – Times of India