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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Investor SingTel backs Sunil Mittal

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 20, 2013
First Published: 20:30 IST(20/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:32 IST(20/3/2013)

Singapore-based SingTel, which holds more than 30% stake in Bharti Airtel, came out in support of the telecom major’s chairman Sunil Mittal  on Wednesday, saying the firm has always upheld high standards of corporate governance.

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A CBI court had, on Tuesday, summoned Mittal as accused in a 2G scam case involving the allotment of additional spectrum to the company beyond  the contractual obligation of 4.4 MHz during the NDA regime.

The other persons who were accused included Ravi Ruia, a promoter of the Essar group that was a partner of Hutchison Essar (now Vodafone India Ltd).

“We are confident that Bharti Airtel and Mittal have always upheld and practised the highest standards of corporate governance in all aspects of the company’s operations, including the acquisition of spectrum. We trust that due legal process in India will prevail and are confident that Bharti Airtel Ltd and Mittal will be vindicated before the courts,” said SingTel.

Even though the CBI had not mentioned names of any official of the company, the court, however, took cognisance of the case and issued summons to all the seven accused, including Mittal, for April 11.

Mittal was “prima facie” in “control of affairs” of his company Bharti Cellular Ltd (now Bharti Airtel) which was charged by the CBI, the court said.

Denying the involvement of Sunil Mittal in the scam, a spokesperson of the company said, “CBI has asserted that they have not found any evidence of conspiracy against any individual whatsoever.”

“We would like to reiterate that Bharti Airtel Ltd and its promoters have always practised the highest standards of corporate governance and accordingly view the charge sheet as an attempt to tarnish its high reputation,” he added.
The firm maintained it was issued spectrum as per policy.


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