Caught in a legal battle that's taken an embarrassing turn, Samsung just can’t catch a break. And you gotta love the Supreme Court of India for breathing down their neck.
In what can only be termed as the most bizarre news of the day, the apex court in India has directed Lee Kun-hee, the 72-year-old chairman of South Korean electronics giant Samsung, to appear in a Ghaziabad trials court within six weeks.
Why? Because JCE Consultancy, an Indian company, is accusing Samsung of failing to pay them their rightful dues that amounts to US $1.4 million, which is about Rs. 8.4 crores.
Bemusing! Not because Samsung’s global chairman could be asked to appear in a trials court for such a paltry sum, but the fact that this case has been dragging along since 2002. Twelve years!
According to a Business Standard report, Samsung Electronics has clarified their position by claiming that the case filed against them in India stems from a bill-of-exchange used in a fraudulent multi-million dollar scheme perpetrated against a Samsung subsidiary in Dubai.
In the same report, a Samsung spokesperson said: “Chairman Lee has no relation to this case. There are no grounds, let alone evidence, to support the accusation against Lee, who is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the many overseas subsidiaries of Samsung.”
Lee Kun-hee in all probability is the first chairman of a global company summoned to appear before a trial court in India. How this case will be played out, and affects Samsung Electronics’ -- with a turnover of over Rs 25,000 crore in India -- business in the country, remains to be seen.