Samsung boss ordered to appear before Indian court

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The billionaire chairman of South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics has been ordered to appear before an Indian court next month in a long-running US$1.4-million (S$1.76) payment dispute.

At a sitting in New Delhi on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said Lee Kun-Hee must "surrender" before a trial court in the city of Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of the capital, within six weeks.

Lawyers for the Samsung boss - one of South Korea's wealthiest businessmen - had tried unsuccessfully to have the case thrown out of court.

"The petitioner shall appear before the trial court... and seek bail and/or exemption from appearance in accordance with the law," the court said.

There was no immediate comment from Samsung.

Dating back to 2002, the case stems from a complaint by New Delhi-based JCE Consultancy accusing Samsung Electronics of "cheating" the Indian company out of US$1.4 million by failing to honour a commitment to pay a bill.

The Supreme Court made no comment on the merits of the case, saying that was up to the trial court to decide.

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