Reliance Communications
Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, attends the annual general meeting of Reliance Capital in Mumbai September 27, 2011.Reuters

Global telecom equipment major Ericsson has moved the Supreme Court seeking detention of Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani in a development that escalates its legal tangle with the Indian company over non-payment of Rs 550 crore service dues.

In its contempt petition, the Swedish company has asked the court to detain Ambani in a civil prison and block his overseas travel, the Economic Times reported.

In early October, Reliance Communications had sought 60 more days for repayment of Rs 550 crore to unsecured creditor Ericsson.

"The fresh application was filed because RCom and others did not comply with the SC order. We have been waiting for payments for a long time and their default is contempt of court," Anil Kher, senior advocate representing Ericsson, told ET.

Ericsson had signed a seven-year deal in 2014 with RComm for operating and managing the Indian telecom player's nationwide telecoms network. RComm owes Ericsson the dues in unpaid service costs after the deeply leveraged and indebted RComm went out of business.

In May, India's bankruptcy court admitted an insolvency plea filed by Ericsson against RCom.

Contempt move against DoT

Meanwhile, RComm has also moved the court initiating contempt proceedings against the Department of Telecommunications. The Anil Ambani-led company says that DoT's delay in approving spectrum sale has cost it dearly, leading to the non-payment of service dues to Ericsson.

Flags with the logo of telecoms equipment maker Ericsson flutter outside the company's headquarters in StockholmMAJA SUSLIN/AFP/Getty Images

Ericsson has also sought a stay on RComm selling assets further to pay off debts. Late in 2017 RComm said it was selling most of its wireless assets for $3.8 billion to Reliance Jio, which was launched by the Reliance behemoth headed by Mukesh Ambani.

The deal hasn't come through yet, but both the companies said on January 1 that they set a new deadline of June 28 to complete the deal.