Unitech Ltd has approached a local court seeking to restrain Norway's Telenor from investing in any new telecoms venture in India that would compete with companies' existing joint venture.
Unitech, a property company, is also seeking an injunction against Telenor's plans to transfer the joint venture's business to a new company, it said in a statement on Friday, adding the move was aimed at protecting its investments in the telecom business.
"We confirm that Unitech Ltd has moved an arbitration application... Restraining Telenor from participating in any manner or being financially interested, in any other project which competes with the business of Uninor," Unitech said in a statement.
It said that t "Unitech has further sought injunction against the transfer of business (of Uninor) by Telenor to a new entity".
Telenor has 67.25 per cent stake in the Indian telecoms joint venture, which operates under the Uninor brand, with the remainder held by Unitech.
The companies are locked in a legal battle after Uninor’s 22 spectrum licences were cancelled following the Supreme Court’s February 2 verdict cancelling all the 122 2G licences allotted in 2008 during the tenure of the former telecom minister A Raja
In its petition filed in CLB on Monday Unitech blamed Telenor saying it has been pursuing the sole objective of pushing Unitech out of Uninor and assuming complete control to enforce its rights and to prevent its partner from assuming full control over the business, including assets.
"Telenor is trying to rescind the shareholders' agreement and annul the articles of association of Uninor only to get out of certain protective provisions for the minority shareholders including the non-compete provision. In fact, even prior to the Supreme Court's order ... Telenor has been pursuing the sole objective of pushing Unitech out of Uninor and assuming complete control. Unitech is equally sensitive to the interests of customers, employees, and other stakeholders of Uninor but will continue to resist any mala-fide and/or unilateral action by Telenor," Unitech said in a statement.
Last week Telenor Group had said that it was looking for a new Indian joint venture following Supreme Court verdict cancelling 122 spectrum licences allotted during 2008.
Telenor Group had issued to Unitech a notice of voidance of the current shareholders' agreement with Unitech on account of fraud and misrepresentation on their part as established by the Supreme Court judgment. Telenor had also demanded damages from Unitech accusing it of "fraud and misrepresentation" of facts based on which it had invested over Rs.6,000 crore in the joint venture with the real estate firm.