Performance is the key to fund selection but several other factors are equally important
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Parag Tripathi, appearing for Ruias and Khaitans respectively, moved separate applications for taking exemption from personal appearance for their clients on grounds including that they were residents of UAE and they have not been properly served with the summons
New Delhi: Promoters of Essar Group Anshuman and Ravi Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan were today granted exemption from personal appearance by a Delhi court, which had summoned them as accused in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, reports PTI.
“Exemption applications of four accused (Ruias and Khaitans) are allowed for today only,” special CBI judge OP Saini said after taking note of submission of special public prosecutor UU Lalit that the agency was not opposing their plea.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Parag Tripathi, appearing for Ruias and Khaitans respectively, moved separate applications for taking exemption from personal appearance for their clients on grounds including that they were residents of UAE and they have not been properly served with the summons.
Khaitans have also cited their “poor health” as additional ground in support of their exemption pleas.
“The case against us is not a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and, moreover, we have challenged the administrative order of the Delhi High Court by which this court was constituted to hear the 2G case,” Mr Rohatgi said.
The apex court would hear the matter on 1st March and the outcome would decide the forum and the course of trial against us, he added.
“If we win, then this case against us would be tried by a magistrate and if we lose then this matter will proceed before this court,” he said and sought a date of hearing during last week of March.
Vikas Saraf, Essar Group director (strategy and planning), however, appeared and moved his bail application before the court today which asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a reply and posted it for hearing on 17th March.
The court asked the CBI to provide the copy of the charge-sheet along with all the relevant documents to the accused who have appeared before it.
The authorised representatives of three firms, Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India and Essar Tele Holdings which have also been charge sheeted along with their promoters also appeared today following the issuance of summons against them.
The CBI had filed its third charge-sheet arising out of probe in the 2G scam case on 12th December last year, on which the special court had taken cognisance and issued summons to the five accused and three companies.
However, the court issued fresh summons on 27th January against the accused persons as they did not appear before it in pursuance to its earlier order.
They had not appeared in the court on 27th January claiming the summons were not ‘duly’ served on them.
The apex court had on 15th February refused to grant interim stay on the summons issued to them but agreed to decide their plea challenging the jurisdiction of the special CBI court in hearing their case in the absence of corruption charge against them.
Essar, which has denied any involvement in the 2G case, contended the special court cannot proceed against them as they were not charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The telecom firms had said they have been charge-sheeted under Section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and the charges were triable by a magistrate and not by the special court constituted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for hearing the 2G case.
“Telenor Group has issued to Unitech a notice of voidance of the current shareholders’ agreement with Unitech on account of fraud and misrepresentation on their part as established by the Supreme Court judgement,” Telenor Group director communications (Asia) Glenn Mandelid said in a statement
New Delhi: Virtually dumping its partner Unitech, Norwegian telecom major Telenor Group today announced plans to set up a new company for carrying out its Indian operations post Supreme Court quashing its 22 licenses, reports PTI.
Telenor also sought damages from Unitech accusing it of “fraud and misrepresentation” of facts based on which it had invested over Rs6,000 crore in the joint venture with the real estate firm.
“Telenor Group has issued to Unitech a notice of voidance of the current shareholders’ agreement with Unitech on account of fraud and misrepresentation on their part as established by the Supreme Court judgement,” Telenor Group director communications (Asia) Glenn Mandelid said in a statement.
The Norwegian firm wants to transfer the business that was being done under the Uninor brand to the new company, where it will hold 74% stake and may rope in a minority Indian partner.
Expressing shock at Telenor’s announcement, Unitech in a statement said, it “cannot be held responsible” for cancellation of licenses and shareholders agreement “cannot be terminated by any party unilaterally”.
Telenor said the new entity will serve as the platform to approach the upcoming auctions for fresh licenses as mandated by the Supreme Court.
“As a part of this process, the new entity will also seek requisite approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to allow Telenor Group to take up 74% ownership," Mr Mandelid said.
Telenor will seek to transfer Uninor’s business, and seamlessly migrate its customers and employees, to the new company, Mr Mandelid added.
“Till such a time, Uninor operations continue as before,” he added.
Telenor said it does not need “the 75% shareholders vote” for transfer of the business to the new company as “Uninor is a private company”.
On the ability to unilaterally void shareholder agreement, the Norway-based company said “in case of a fraud and misrepresentation, Telenor can unilaterally declare the shareholder agreement void”.
Mr Mandelid said Telenor Group has, for more than a year, tried to secure Uninor’s long-term funding needs through a rights offer but the process has been blocked by Unitech.
“Telenor Group has taken full responsibility for the financial security of Uninor by solely and fully guaranteeing for all short-term funding needs,” he said.
Telenor Group said it has invested Rs6,135 crore through equity and over Rs8,000 crore in debt through corporate guarantees for ramping up Uninor’s operations.
Uninor, over period of two years, has secured over 40 million customers, a workforce of over 17,500 and a distribution network with more than 4 lakh points of sale, the statement said.
“In order to ensure a smooth transition for Uninor’s employees, customers and stakeholders, we expect that the Uninor board would, with prior consent from the Indian authorities, transfer Uninor’s business into this new company at a fair market value,” Mr Mandelid said.
Mr Mandelid added that this voidance will take place with a prospective affect and all rights that have accrued in the past shall consequently stand preserved.
“Till such time that Uninor’s business is transferred to the new Indian company, Uninor operations will continue as before. We now trust that the Indian authorities will conduct a swift and fair process such that new competition remains in the market,” Mr Mandelid said.
The Unitech stock trailed 0.14% at Rs35.45 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange in late morning trade today.