The 2G spectrum scam has claimed another victim, with the Norwegian firm Telenor, the majority partner in Uninor, asking Sanjay Chandra to step down as chairman of Unitech Wireless.
Uninor is a joint venture between Telenor and Indian firm Unitech Wireless Limited, a subsidiary of the realty firm Unitech. “Telenor group has earlier this month sent a letter to Unitech Ltd., requesting Sanjay Chandra to step down as chairman of the Board of Directors in Unitech Wireless,'' Telenor said in a statement here.
The Telenor group has asked Unitech to appoint a substitute for Mr. Chandra for as long as the court case relating to the 2G case goes on. “Withdrawing from the chairman's position is the most appropriate and decent thing for Mr. Sanjay Chandra to do, given the current circumstances. It is of vital importance that the running business of our Indian operation is not hampered,'' said Glenn Mandelid, Director of Communications for Telenor group, region Asia, in the statement.
The Central Bureau of Investigation charge sheet had named Mr. Chandra. So was Unitech Wireless for its actions when it was a fully owned Unitech company prior to the Telenor group entering India.
“The Telenor group supports transparency and predictable frameworks for the telecom industry. Telenor has zero tolerance for corruption, and if the CBI trial proves any malpractice, those responsible must be brought to book,'' the statement said. “However, no charges have been proven and we expect Mr. Chandra to defend himself in court.''
Telenor has invested Rs. 6,100 crore in Unitech Wireless and holds 67.25 per cent ownership share.
On the other hand, DB Realty said its managing director Vinod Goenka not getting bail in the 2G case would not have any impact on its operations. It was in the process of inviting new directors on the company's board.
“It is unfortunate that the bail plea of Mr. Goenka has been rejected by the lower court. We have immense faith in our judicial system and are confident that justice will prevail,'' DB Realty group's director (Business, Strategy and Finance) N. Shridhar said in a statement.
Swan Telecom (Etisalat DB) is a joint venture between DB Realty and the UAE-based Etisalat. DB Realty's former managing director Shahid Balwa is in the Tihar jail in the 2G case.
Mr. Shridhar noted that DB Realty had no direct or indirect shareholding in the telecom business and the realty projects would be executed as per schedule.