BSNL to move NCLT to recover Rs700-cr dues from RCom
18 March 2019
State-owned telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) plans to approach National Company Law Tribunal to recover dues of about Rs700 crore from defunct Reliance Communications, say reports.
In fact, BSNL has invoked Rs100 bank guarantee provided by RCom and has started legal proceedings by appointing a law firm to handle the case, says a PTI report.
"BSNL has already invoked bank guarantee of around Rs100 crore submitted by RCom for default on payments. The decision was taken on January 4 by BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava to start legal proceedings against RCom for recovery of dues of around Rs 700 crore," the PTI report quoted official sources as saying.
BSNL has roped Singh and Kohli law firm for the suit. The case filing got delayed due to the collection of invoices from all circle offices.
The move comes in the wake of extreme financial crunch at BSNL that forced the state-owned telecom firm to delay payment of salaries to its employees. A strike by BSNL staff has also threatened to hit internet services to banks.
Meanwhile, reports said the Department of telecommunications (DoT) is weighing a Rs13,000-crore bailout package for debt-ridden BSNL
BSNL also plans to soon offer Aadhaar facilities in 3,000 service centres across India.
Debt-ridden RCom had in its plea before the NCLAT said that it wanted to voluntarily go back into the insolvency process, as it will help selling its assets in a time-bound manner.
It had moved the appellate tribunal, seeking directions to the 37 lenders led by SBI to release Rs260 crore directly to Ericsson. However, lenders of RCom have opposed the plea, saying that it will lead to the outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party.
The NCLAT also on Friday declined to issue any direction to SBI and has asked for an update on development with regard to payment of Ericsson due on March 19. The tribunal will hear the case of April 8.
RCom has been struggling to pay Rs453 crore out of Rs550 crore to Ericsson under a settlement reached between the two firms before NCLAT.
The Supreme Court has given time till 19 March to RCom Group to make payment to Ericsson, failing which its chairman Anil Ambani will have to serve a three-month jail term.