Arab Today, arab today india offers help to samsung chief over court appearance
Last Updated : GMT 18:31:22
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India offers help to Samsung chief over court appearance

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today India offers help to Samsung chief over court appearance

New York - AFP

India will help Samsung in "whatever way" it can to avoid theSouth Korean company's chairman being forced to appear in an Indian court over apayment dispute, a top government official said Saturday.India fears its country's investment reputation could be further tarnished after theSupreme Court ordered Lee Kun-Hee, South Korea's richest man, to appear before asuburban New Delhi trial court within six weeks to answer fraud accusations overthe $1.4-million dispute.Government officials have been meeting senior executives of the consumerelectronics firm to discuss how to ensure Lee does not have to appear personally incourt, Amitabh Kant, industrial policy secretary, told AFP."Whatever way the government can help and protect Samsung we will be very happyto do," Kant said.South Korea is a large investor in India through carmakerHyundai, Samsung and other companies.Kant called Samsung's dispute with New Delhi-based JCE Consultancy an "isolatedcase" and added the government is anxious to ensure the row does not "affect theinvestment climate in India in any way".In a statement after the Supreme Court decision, Samsung said Lee had noconnection with the case, which the company declared was related to a "multi-million dollar fraud" against a Samsung unit in Dubai.The case comes as India heads into a general election Monday that the right-wingBharatiya Janata Party (BJP), perceived as more business friendly than the rulingleft-leaning Congress, is tipped to win.India's investment climate has been marred by a string of corruption scandals andbureaucratic red tape that has delayed projects.South Korean steel heavyweight Posco's $12-billion steel project -- India's biggestforeign investment -- has become emblematic of problems facing overseas investors.The project has yet to leave the drawing board since being announced in 2005,delayed by environmental, regulatory and land acquisition hurdles.New Delhi fears Seoul might direct future investment to other Asian nations as aresult of its Indian difficulties, officials say.Indian courts have a history of summoning top executives over alleged offencebecause of their overall responsibility for company operations.But Kant said the Supreme Court decision allows the Samsung chairman to seekexemption from appearing in court and to allow a representative to appear instead."He can either appear in court and seek bail or seek exemption from appearing,"Kant said.The trial court had issued an arrest warrant against Lee for not appearing before itbut the Supreme Court said the warrant would not be exercised for six weeks.JCE Consultancy in 2005 filed a case alleging Samsung Electronics "cheated" theIndian company out of $1.4 million by failing to pay a bill.Samsung and Lee, worth some $11.2 billion, according to Forbes, were named in thecase and face allegations of cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy.

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