Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, televisions and memory chips, has run into legal trouble in India with the Supreme Court asking its chairman Lee Kun-hee to surrender within six weeks before a Ghaziabad court, which is hearing a $1.4-million (R9 crore) cheating case filed by an Indian company in 2005.
A bench headed by Justice CK Prasad on Monday while dismissing as withdrawn Lee Kun-hee's appeal stayed “the warrant of arrest” issued against Lee for six weeks. “In the meanwhile, the petitioner (Lee) shall appear before the trial court to surrender and seek bail and/or exemption from appearance in accordance with law... We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion in regard to the merit of the case,” the apex court said.
If Lee doesn’t appear before the trial court by May 12, police can arrest him upon entering India.
Challenging the Allahabad High Court’s May 2013 order that declared him “an absconder and fugitive,” the Samsung chairman had approached the apex court for quashing the criminal case and non-bailable warrants (NBW) issued against him for failing to honour a payment of $1.4 million.
The HC in May held that “the accused who is fugitive from justice, who does not surrender to the jurisdiction of the court and who disobeys and flouts the order of the court, has no right of being heard at this stage.”