Singapore based telecom firm SingTel, which holds over 30 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday said it has full faith in the company’s corporate governance standards under the leadership of company's chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.
Based on the CBI charge sheet, a Delhi court on Tuesday summoned as accused Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and five others in a case relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of additional spectrum to Airtel and Vodafone during the NDA regime in 2002.
"We are confident that Bharti Airtel and Mr Mittal have always upheld and practised the highest standards of corporate governance in all aspects of the company’s operations, including the acquisition of spectrum. We trust that due legal process in India will prevail and are confident that Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Mr Mittal will be vindicated before the courts," SingTel said in a statement.
It added that the court summons are in relation to additional spectrum awarded in 2002 - 2003 as per the policy of the Indian Government.
Though Mittal's name was not mentioned in CBI's charge sheet as an accused, the court in its order said it was taking cognisance of the case and issuing summons to all the seven accused, including him, for April 11.
Mittal was "prima facie" in "control of affairs" of his company Bharti Cellular Ltd (now Bharti Airtel) which was charged by the CBI, the court had said.
Bharti Airtel has charged CBI with attempting to tarnish its reputation while Essar Group said it will take appropriate legal proceedings to challenge the order.
"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," Bharti said in a statement.
"We will fight this charge sheet against Bharti Airtel and Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel," the company said.
An Essar Group spokesperson said, "We are consulting our legal experts and exploring all legal options and will in due course take up appropriate legal proceedings to challenge this order."