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SC asks Samsung chairman to appear before Ghaziabad court


New Delhi, April 2:

The Supreme Court has asked Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of South Korean electronics giant Samsung, to appear before a Ghaziabad trial court within six weeks in connection with a $1.4 million alleged cheating case.

The apex court also dismissed his plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order declaring him “fugitive” and “absconder”.

Lee Kun Hee
Lee Kun Hee

An Indian company, JCE Consultancy, has alleged cheating by Lee Kun-Hee for failure to honour contractual obligations.

Asking Lee Kun-Hee to appear before the Ghaziabad court within six weeks, the apex court bench of Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose stayed the arrest warrant against the Samsung Electronics chairman.

The bench said the warrant of arrest issued against Lee Kun-Hee “shall not be executed for a period of six weeks” from March 31.

The court said in its order that the petitioner (Lee Kun-Hee) “shall appear before the trial court and seek bail and/or exemption from appearance in accordance with law”.

The court in its order passed March 31, and made available Wednesday said: “We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion in regard to the merit of the case.”

The high court had declared Lee Kun-Hee a “fugitive” and an “absconder” after it was moved following the issuance of non-bailable warrants by the Ghaziabad trial court after he failed to appear before it after being repeatedly issued summons.

While declining Lee Kun-Hee’s plea, the high court had noted that his prosecution has already been up held by the top court.

JCE Consultancy filed the civil suit alleging breach of contract in 2001 alleging default in the payment by Samsung Electronics.

The case concerns a coke calcination plant which Samsung had ordered from JCE Consultancy in 2001. The Indian company had alleged that it did not get any money even though it had complied with its contractual obligations.

The South Korean electronics major had contended that it had already complied with its contractual obligations by furnishing bank guarantee through an intermediary for the entire amount.