Spectrum case: Airtel says it follows best practices in telecom industry

Telecom Lead India: Airtel says it followed best practices in Indian telecom industry and is saddened at the Delhi Court’s summons to Airtel and its CMD Sunil Mittal.

In a rare development, Delhi court summoned Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and Asim Ghosh, former CEO of Vodafone Essar, in the additional spectrum allocation case. They need to present in the court on April 11.

READ HERE What the Delhi Court said today

Airtel in a statement said the matter pertains to certain policy decisions taken during the NDA Government in 2002.

Bharti Airtel, India’s #1 telecom operator, shared the following as response to the entire issue:

CBI has asserted that they have not found any evidence of conspiracy against any individual whatsoever.

The requests for additional spectrum allocations to improve the Quality of Service and to raise the standards of mobile telephony in India to global standards had been raised by several telecom operators and by Industry Associations since 1999/2000.

The spectrum allocation i.e. subject of the charge sheet was made to Bharti Airtel in December 2003 under the charge of then minister of Communications in the NDA, Arun Shourie who has already been given a clean chit.

The fact also is that the spectrum under Govt. policy of 01.02.2002, which the Charge Sheet alleges, was issued to benefit Bharti Airtel and Vodafone continued until April 2010 under 3 separate ministers of telecom and 6 Secretaries in the DoT and despite being considered by several formal / informal committees of the DoT / TRAI.

All other telecom operators including MTNL and BSNL received additional spectrum under this policy of 01.02.2002.

Government has on several occasions stated on the floor of the Parliament, even as recently as 7th December 2012, that the additional spectrum granted to all operators and the related spectrum usage charges are as per the policy.  The DoT has also filed affidavits before the courts confirming the same.


“We would like to reiterate that Bharti Airtel 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,” said Airtel in a statement.

“We are disappointed with the charge sheet against a company which is one of the few Indian MNCs, with a reputation for good governance standards. We will fight this charge sheet against Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel and a global leader associated with some of the best known institutions of the world and a brand ambassador for India,” the statement added.

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