A day after announcing that it will not participate in the new auction for 2G spectrum, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) on Thursday initiated legal proceedings against its Indian partners, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of DB Realty, for fraud and misrepresentation of facts.
The legal proceedings were started in the Indian courts.
Etisalat invested $900 million in Swan Telecom and acquired 45% stake through fresh equity. Later, Swan was renamed Etisalat DB (EDB).
On February 2, the Supreme Court ordered cancellation of 122 telecom licences issued on or after January 10, 2008. EDB’s licences will also be cancelled.
“Etisalat’s case is that it was induced into its investment in the company that was then Swan, without any disclosure of the matters that are now alleged by the CBI and Supreme Court to have occurred,” said an official spokesperson of Etisalat.
Etisalat joined Swan almost a year after Swan got its telecom licences. “Etisalat is facing significant financial losses ... despite being entirely innocent of any allegations relating to it. Balwa, Goenka and Majestic Infracon Pvt Ltd were responsible for Swan at that time and for subsequently marketing the investment opportunity to Etisalat,” the company said.
The UAE company has written off $827 million relating to Etisalat DB.
Norway-based Telenor and Unitech Ltd, the two partners in Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd are also engaged in a legal battle. The J-V company offers services under Uninor brand, in Tamil Nadu.