US-based communications company Avaya has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Reliance Communications (RCom) in an attempt to recover dues worth Rs 7.5 crore, reported the Economic Times. RCom has not paid the company for call centre services availed from January to September 2017, Avaya’s legal counsel Abhishek Adke told the publication. NCLT has asked RCom to respond in 10 days and the matter is listed for March 23.
This is only the latest in a series of lawsuits being filed against the financially-troubled telecom operator. This arbitration court also recently barred the company from selling any assets without permission, while hearing a case by Ericsson. Ericsson had reportedly moved an Indian arbitration court in September 2017 to recover unpaid dues of nearly Rs 11.55 billion. RCom has appealed against this order in the Bombay High Court.
Last month, American Tower Company (ATC) moved Delhi High Court against Rcom for recovery of over Rs 100.63 crore, which ATC alleged were owed in payments for services provided from July to December 2017.
According to ET, other companies have also petitioned against RCom. These include Fortuna Public Relations, which claims the RCom owes it Rs 47.65 lakh; Manipal Technologies which has moved NCLAT to recover Rs 2.74 crore; and Tech Mahindra, which has agreed to settle out of court for Rs 8.2 crore.
Many of these cases were prompted by RCom’s decision to sell a large part of its infrastructure assets to Reliance Jio. The deal that includes trade of towers, optic fibre cable network, spectrum bands, and media convergence nodes, was pegged at nearly Rs 24,000 crore. The sale was RCom’s attempt of reducing debt, as its business continued to be loss-making. It remains to be seen if the deal would go through, as multiple court orders have barred it.
RCom had also shut its mobile services for users in December. It continues to give port out codes through its website, so users can move to other networks. The telco has said that it “decided to adopt a 4G focused strategy for profitable growth of its wireless business”.