IN LONDON Anil Ambani told a London court that he had to sell all of his jewelry to pay for his legal fees and that his living expenses were borne by his wife and family. Ambani appeared before the High Court in London on Friday in a case brought against him by
Ambani, who appeared via a video link, was subjected to three hours of pointed questions regarding his assets, debts and expenses. Ambani also said reports of his expensive cars were only media speculation.
As he testified, the court also learned that he had received loans from his son. Previously, he had unsuccessfully requested that the proceedings take place behind closed doors, which the judge later summed up, as Ambani was “concerned about his personal embarrassment”.
He appeared under rule 71 whereby a judgment debtor appears in court so that additional information can be obtained to enforce the judgment debt. Three Chinese banks have successfully secured a judgment debt of US $ 717 million against Ambani. The proceedings relate to the loan of $ 900 million which was granted to
As Ambani did not pay the banks in accordance with the court’s instructions, he was asked to provide the court with a list of assets over US $ 100,000 along with bank statements and
Ambani maintained he had negative net worth, which Chinese banks countered, citing his
Lawyer Bankim Thanki, representing Chinese banks, said on Friday that witness statements and the list of his assets provided to the court were incomplete. Thanki asked him about his credit card used in Harrods, Dolce and Gabbana and Harvey Nichols, which he said was done by his mother. “I didn’t use my credit card,” he said, when asked why there were no recent credit card statements.
Thanki also asked him about the yacht he allegedly gave his wife
In October 2018, he got a loan of Rs 5 billion from his mother, but when Thanki asked him to clarify the terms of the loan, he said he was not aware of the actual terms of the loan. The court heard that Ambani also obtained a loan from his son Anmol to the tune of several crores.
Ambani was also asked about the ownership of the works of art. He stuck to his witness statement that he only owned one work of art, and when asked about the detention of the Tina and Anil Ambani foundation.
On several occasions, Thanki asked Anil Ambani if he was really “interested in helping the court” and if “everything was disclosed”. “True and fair statements have been provided,” Ambani would say. Seeking to make the connection with the fact that Mukesh Ambani still supported him, Thanki asked him to answer yes or no if “the effect of your proof is that you live without rent in a property which belongs to your brother”. to which Ambani replied: “Yes.”
“The size of the legal team and your lifestyle suggests that you must have other sources of income,” asked Thanki, who was countered by Ambani, who said “I don’t have a style of luxurious living “.
At press time, Harish Salve, representing Anil Ambani, pleaded to reduce the assessment of legal costs made by Chinese banks.