Russian conglomerate Sistema,the majority stakeholder in joint venture Sistema-Shyam,today asserted it would contest the Supreme Court’s order by pursuing all available legal remedies to protect its lawful investment. The company,however,said its business in the Indian operations will remain operational as usual and it is reviewing the implications of the Supreme Court judgement that cancelled 122 telecom licences terming them as illegal.
“To safeguard its interests,Sistema and Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL) will contest this order by pursuing all available legal remedies. In the meantime,Indian operations will remain business as usual for the company,” Sistema JSFC said in a statement.
Sistema Shyam has pan-India operations under brand MTS and its 21 out of 22 licences stand cancelled after the apex court verdict yesterday.
The order was issued on the grounds that these licences were not granted in accordance with required procedures by the Department of Telecom.
Sistema and the Russian government together hold about 74 per cent stake in the Indian joint venture. India-based Shyam Group has 24 per cent stake,and others 2.18 per cent.
“Sistema by way of its investments in SSTL has fully demonstrated its commitment to its Indian operations and is very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision,” the company said.
SSTL,a national telecom operator serving more than 15 million customers,employs over 3,500 employees. It has made investments of over USD 2.5 billion.
“The company looks forward to a clear,transparent,and equitable policy decision on these matters by the Indian government,” the company added.
The affected companies whose licences were cancelled include Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway),Videocon,Loop Telecom,Idea Cellular,Etisalat DB (joint venture between DB Realty and Etisalat of UAE) among others.