ATC moves Delhi HC seeking surety for Rs 100.6-Cr RCom dues


MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: American Tower Corporation (ATC) has moved the Delhi High Court against Reliance Communications and its Reliance Telecom subsidiary, seeking surety over Rs 100.63 crore that ATC says the two companies owed it for services provided from July to December last year.

In its petition, ATC said RCom’s responses to its demand to pay the dues were “evasive/non-committal”, indicating a “mala-fide intent” to avoid the payment. The “precarious financial position” of RCom leads the petitioner to believe that “in the absence of adequate security”, any award in favour of it in arbitration proceedings would remain a paper decree without any possibility to recover the money, said the petition, which ET has seen.

The security sought by the telecom tower company could be in the form of bank guarantees or a deposit in court, people close to the matter said. The high court will hear the matter on February 22.

ATC and RCom did not respond to ET’s queries.

On Wednesday, RCom’s shares closed 9% higher at Rs 29.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. This is the second petition that ATC filed against RCom. Last year, it moved the Delhi High Court seeking security of over Rs 88 crore that it had demanded from the telecom company as tower payment dues.

That case has been listed for hearing on May 16, legal sources said. According to the latest petition, the dues include variable operating charges, security deposit, municipal charges, property tax and fees to be paid for exiting tower sites before the expiry of the lock-in period.

ATC had also moved Delhi High Court against Aircel to recover Rs 224 crore outstanding for lease of towers. RCom, with debt of more than Rs 45,000 crore, just avoided ceding control to banks, after Reliance Jio Infocomm agreed to purchase its spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes for an estimated Rs

24,000 crore. It has faced demand for payments from other creditors as well.

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