Telenor sues Unitech for compensation

Telenor sues Unitech for compensation

Blaming Unitech, Norwegian major Telenor sought “indemnity and compensation” from its Indian partner for the cancellation of 22 licences held by their telecom joint venture Uninor.

Telenor said in a statement that it would start the process of looking for a new partner since the strategic tie-up with Unitech “does not have a future”.

The Norwegian firm has over 67 per cent stake in Uninor. On February 2, the Supreme Court revoked 122 licences issued to all telecom operators on and from January 10, 2008, including those issued to Uninor.

However, Unitech denied the allegations and said that cancellation of licences by Supreme Court by questioning the government policy cannot be considered as breach of warranties on its part.

“We  emphatically deny that the cancellation of the UAS licences by the Hon’ble Supreme Court demonstrates a breach of any warranties on our part and the court also has not concluded any wrong-doing on the part of the licensee companies,” Unitech’s nominee on board of Uninor Nirjhar Goel said in a separate statement.

Telenor said it holds Unitech liable for the breach of warranties related to the cancellation of the licences – seeking compensation for all investment, guarantees and damages caused by the Supreme Court order. Further, the Norwegian firm has made an indemnity claim against Unitech for the failure to obtain spectrum in the strategically critical Delhi circle.

Telenor’s Group General Counsel Pal Wien Espen said the legality and validity of the licences was a fundamental term of the share subscription agreement between Telenor and Unitech. “We believe that Supreme Court’s cancellation of Unified Access Service licences (UASL) conclusively demonstrates a clear breach of Unitech’s warranties,” Espen said.

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