UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) on Monday said it had started proceedings for winding up operations of its Indian venture, but whether its Indian partners Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka had consented to the move was not clear.
Following the cancellation of 13 licences by the Supreme Court last month, Etisalat had decided to close down Etisalat DB Telecom (formerly Swan Telecom), affecting over 16.7 lakh mobile subscribers of its service under the brand Cheers.
"Recent events have led to a complete breakdown in the relationship between Etisalat and its Indian partners, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, who face various criminal charges of corruption associated with Swan's acquisition of its UAS licences," Etisalat said in a statement.
The company went on to say it was "completely unaware of any issues or risks associated with the licences" which Swan owned at the time it made its investment.
Following the cancellation, Etisalat has started legal proceedings against Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka and Majestic Infracon Pvt Ltd (formerly Tiger Trustees Pvt Ltd) alleging fraud and misrepresentation associated with inviting Etisalat's investment in Swan.
According to Etisalat it was no longer possible for EDB to continue its telecommunications operations.