Russia has told the Indian government that it wants an amicable settlement to the dispute over cancellation of 21spcetrum of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, a joint venture between Russian company Sistema and India's Shyam Group.
The issue was raised on Thursday during a meeting with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma in St Petersburg on Thursday, Russian deputy prime minister D Rogozin.
Russia raised the issue of the impact that the Supreme Court judgment in the 2G case has had on the Indian investments of Sistema in the telecom sector. They said that Russia values India as an important investment destination and sought and amicable resolution.
Anand Sharma while expressing appreciation for the Russian investments which have been a source of technology over the years assured him full representation of Sistema’s case during the legal process through continuous dialogue between Sistema and the Department of Telecom.
In February this year, the Supreme Court had cancelled 122 mobile licences, including 21 of SSTL, awarded in 2008 under the then telecom minister A Raja. The SC had allowed the impugned licences to run for four months after which the cancellation order would come into effect. Sistema has already filed an appeal in the SC seeking protection of its $3.1 billion investment in India.
Early this week, Department of Telecom (DoT) had sought the Attorney General Goolam Essaji Vahanvati’s opinion whether foreign telcos such as Russia’s MTS and Norway’s Telenor can take legal action against the government and claim damages under bilateral investment protection pacts (BIPA) in the backdrop of cancellation of 122 spectrum licences which were allotted in 2008 during the tenure of the former telecom minister A Raja.
It has also asked whether foreign entities that invested in domestic companies whose promoters have been prosecuted on criminal charges can claim damages.