Unitech Ltd on Friday sought the Company Law Board’s approval to move a case on a dispute over their telecoms joint venture (JV) with Norway’s Telenor to an arbitration panel, potentially escalating the row.
Lawyers for the Norwegian company told the Company Law Board that they would oppose Unitech’s petition in arguments scheduled for Monday.
The JV is among companies that are set to lose their telecom licences after a court order to revoke all permits awarded in a scandal-tainted 2008 sale. Telenor has accused Unitech of “fraud and misrepresentation” and has said it would migrate the business to a new company to seek fresh licences.
Unitech has said Telenor cannot scrap the JV agreement unilaterally and that it had veto right to block any asset transfer.
Both sides had last month approached the Company Law Board, a quasi-judiciary body, over the dispute. The board had recently asked Unitech to tell it whether it wants to buy Telenor’s stake in the JV or sell its own stake to Telenor.
Lawyers for Unitech submitted their proposals to the board on Monday and both sides have declined to comment on the proposals, citing confidentiality.
On Wednesday, a source with direct knowledge had told Reuters that Unitech was “in principle” ready to sell its stake to Telenor but wants a “fair” valuation.