NR: Madhav hi, sorry to disturb you Madhav, the government had long chat with chandoliya just now, I was for half an hour on the phone with him the thing is that you see the government stand is that we are not looking at the Subodh Kumar report
NR: We are going to send it to TRAI and and that will take six months in the mean time whatever our existing policy is of subscriber base will continue. And therefore while he assures that we are in the queue and therefore Anil Ambani cannot get his 1.8 till we are given our 4.4 because we are effectively in the queue for those circles
NR: And we have to be honoured and therefore his 1.8 will come only after we get our 4.4
M: No, no but, he is currently ... in TDSAT he is only asking 1.8 only for Mumbai for which he has made application before from seven months or so and DOT has kept it pending and they have told him that we are waiting for report and that this TDSAT judgment is awaited and all those things so he is pressing only for Mumbai where we have already received our spectrum
NR: And everybody also received spectrum in Mumbai right?
M: Ya, Mumbai there is no pending applications unless somebody like Airtel has crossed the subscriber thing, so there is no pendency in Mumbai
NR: So, he will get Bombay,
M: He will get , he will get Bombay , his application is only for this
NR: The moment it (not audible clearly)... it will set a precedent
M: Yes, Bombay will take away the argument from DoT. That we are waiting for this we are waiting for that but, I think last week when there was another spectrum matter where DoT said that we have not yet decided whether to refer it to TRAI because Arum Kumar said it will take six months time so, why are you asking adjournment only for one month so he said no we are still debating whether to send committee report to TRAI, the government has not taken a formal …..
NR: No these people has taken a decision only they have not sent it yet because I believe that secretary has been opposing that .
M: But, yesterday I think Secretary told (name not understood) that minister has signed the file
NR: Chandolia told me that it’s going to TRAI
(Conversation overlap )
M: Day before on Tuesday he signed the file for sending to TRAI including perpetual license concept also
M: That also they are making a reference as a part of it that instead of 10 years 20 years why no we say that once it is given it is given, the spectrum or license once it is give unless cancelled
NR: PMO might object to that
M: Ha, ya correct
NR: PMO may not allow that actually because they have very different view from the minister on that one. The thing is that he says that they will unless we get our spectrums as far as Delhi is concerned they are quite comfortable that nobody will get spectrum unless we are first cleared. My only worry is that he will then go and get some other legal opinion, which will say that we have not launched services , that will obliviously give us our arguments that ok then one that have not launched including (not understood) then give us their spectrum it can help us that argument but, my worry is that he may set a precedent doing this and move on.
M: Ya, so but, this Arun kumar doesn’t want to do anything because
NR: He is retiring no?
M: He is retiring in September so I mean in one of the function he said that OK you can treat that I am already retired he doesn’t want to take any major hearings also before that. The problem is now this other person (name not clear ) he cant write judgment. So it is Arun Kumar who will have to write the judgment because earlier Dr. Sharma was doing that job for each and every matter Dr. Sharma was writing the judgment. Now there is nobody to write the judgment also. So, Arun Kumar is very reluctant to do anything.
NR: What do you think is gonna be the outcome today then?
M: But, today I think the govt. would say that ok we are still thinking the govt. may ask for time
NR: No No they are not asking for time their response is that given that the matter is going to TRAI and it will take 4 to 6 months we will continue to maintain…
We will continue with our policy that’s what they would say today.
NR: So the COI is the one who is gonna oppose this?
M: The COI ahhh! The present policy will continue but, then the COI members also will keep on spectrums no. Unless the govt. say that we are not going to give spectrum
NR: COI is saying that we want to block at 4.4
M: Block at 4.4? Ok
NR: Ya , that’s their view.
M: Ok and beyond that go for….
M: This is already decided matter so Arun Kumar would say that ok our judgment is very clear we don’t want to do any interpretations on that
NR: Hmmm hmmm
M: That would be the easiest way for him to take a stand so what is ambiguous in the judgment, you tell us that
NR: Hmmm hmmm hmmm
M: Because there is no ambiguity in the judgment because Reliance was give excuse by this DoT they want to bring the certificate from TDSAT that they have no objection which Arun Kumar will not fall prey for that.
NR: Ya, I hope not. I don’t know you know Madhav, now this Supreme Court matter we will take a call once Anil and I met minister we will need to take a call on how we approach it because they got an answer to both of our scenarios, hunh?
M: Ya, exactly and you know another problem is this is at January 2008 situation we had lot of opportunities and we are trying to challenge it after 18 months and meanwhile the third party interest has been created -- the spectrum has been given that file says that the priority list also we were the last. We did not challenge that also so the govt. would say that what stopped you from challenging that time , you could have done that by filing even a separate petition, how can you come to us after 18 months or 20 months.
NR: Right, because we are seeing that we are not been given spectrum; we are seeing other operators who are not launching their services who has been given licenses and spectrum; and we feel that this is unfair -- we were under the impression at that time that we would be given spectrum
M: Then we will have to go to this TDSAT with fresh petition of what the first draft is already prepared. Because Supreme Court would say that this was not the point before TDSAT so you can't bring before us any new facts and or new arguments that’s what they will tell us that this was challenge only to the dual technology
M: So you cant bring any other allocation points into that so our remedy is to go to TDSAT and file petition and say that we were No.2 and we should have been given and it doesn’t have any scientific basis to priority and all those things .
NR: Ya but the minister's told me that he is gonna vehemently oppose that
M: Yaa but..
NR: Because Swan is his personal interest he told me that . we have to be very.. that’s why I don’t want to do it in hurry I think we got time and we should wait till we meet him and I know what he is going to say that this is something that I won’t allow you, you will get spectrum don’t worry. So I am trying to see that how there is another strategy that we are going to work around and see what to do. By the way this AT&T they were going to do that’s got blocked. That got dropped ok
M: That got dropped ok
NR: It got blocked because Mukesh has objection on their offer
M: Yes and company like AT&T wont take risk of investment when there is .
NR: They approached me to talk t o Mukesh to see that he should not come in the way; then they approached thru the embassy, then they approach thru US embassy; they talked to several people in the industry saying that please talk to Mukesh and tell him that he should not come in the way and all that and Anil will remain 26% and our view is why should we give him billions and make an [unclear... out of him] so he will go and bribe more people.
M: Ya correct because I think probable their " non compete" [agreement]' is expiring in 2010 so by that time they may also Mukesh may also launch something into telecom.
NR: No he is not coming into telecom
M: Ok Internet related application I think
NR: He is not interested in telecom.
M: He is doing something with Kishore Biyani -- in that company Future Group has invested and somebody from Reliance -- Prakash Bajpai -- he is the front man. He was with Anil Reliance Infocom, before some five six months he was sacked from that company because he had already started that unit . It is Mumbai based unit .
NR: Ya but that is more for capital.
M: Ok, where Kishore Biyani has invested some 65%
NR: Ok ok, I will double check that
M: Those are Ex- TATA, Ex-Reliance Infocom people....
NR: Right, right...
M: ...Ex- TTML before TATA took over. Prakash Bajpai was CEO of Hughes Telecom and then he went to Reliance Infocom and then he started this I think where some foreign fund has invested 100 billion dollars there.
NR: But, I think that hey are... I know for sure that Mukesh is not interested in coming back in telecom. He just want to make sure that this guy doesn’t get his (not understood) that’s basically where he is coming from. Let's see . So I will just let you know this is what Chandoliya ( abrupt cut) we just want to make it sure that they just don’t from Mumbai slip into Delhi you know that’s my biggest worry.
M: Because in Delhi there in no 4.4
NR: He will use the subscriber’s argument and will going to Vahanvati and Vahanvati will give some silly opinion and again we will be stuck.
M: Vahanvati. He wants to remain active because AG doesn’t come for arguments.
NR: Hmmmh hmmm but, he was there
M: He was there -- he vehemently opposed the thing. Like any other solicitor general he argues out.
NR: Hmm hmm but, isn't that strange ?
M: Yes, it is strange and judges may say that govt. is attaching so much importance to this matter .
NR: Ya Ya, I think Vahanvati will get exposed if he does that too much.
M:Ya , if he does that too much
NR: Yes, anyway...
Transcribed by HMB