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Home  »  Website  »  National  »  #64 Rahul Joshi, ET: Jun 16, 2009 13:54:41
Niira Radia Tapes

#64 Rahul Joshi, ET: Jun 16, 2009 13:54:41

"A nuclear deal happens and you fix the spectrum. You know, …something else happens and you fix coal"

#64 Rahul Joshi, ET: Jun 16, 2009 13:54:41

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Niira: Hi

Rahul: Hi, is it a good time?

Niira: Yeah yeah sorry. Actually I've been home I didn’t go to work because I've been unwell the last two days so

Rahul: Oh, ok

Niira: Yes…no no just a…it’s just a little fever. I don’t have swine flu, thank god (laughter) I haven’t been quarantined yet. Just a chest infection and it…I suffer from mild asthma

Rahul: Am not surprised…in Delhi I mean…bad weather

Niira: ya…

Rahul, I wanted to talk to you about the judgment yesterday.

Rahul: About the….?

Niira: About the judgment that happened yesterday

Rahul: Sure, sure

Niira: I just wanted your…and honestly…umm…just as an opinion

Rahul: Yeah yeah…

Niira: Please don’t get me wrong. I am not calling to put a perspective, but one is being quite troubled about what is been happening since you know between both my clients, whether it is Tata Power -- Tata or Reliance Industries, we are somehow on the receiving end and one tries to understand who is…who is fixing which system, and I…again i am having a very friendly chat with you and not coming at it from any other way.

Rahul: No no, sure

NIIRA: You see, Tata Power went and did first Sasan. You remember the whole Sasan episode.

RAHUL: Yeah yeah i remember

NIIRA: We went to high court we have gone to Supreme Court now, we’ve taken a decision in the Supreme Court that…Supreme Court... took a decision to go to Supreme Court because we felt that we did not get the sort of respite we wanted from the high court.

RAHUL: hmm…

NIIRA: There was clearly a post facto approval that was given by the EGOM in fixing the rules and we felt that, you know, rules should not be fixed, whether…whether we have a locus standi or not it cannot be fixed after a bid process is over.


NIIRA: Coal, natural resource. Then we come to spectrum.

Rahul: Yeah

Niira: Speczzzzzzzzzzzzzzztrum, Sunil Mittal, all of us are fighting for a the basis that a retrospective approval was given by great Raja to Anil Ambani (Rahul: hmm) on a policy and a policy was declared in the middle of the night and a LOI was issued, spectrum granted to him immediately and only after that was every other application processed.

Rahul: Right

NIIRA: Matter’s again in the supreme court.

Rahul: Right

NIIRA: Third thing of course, gas, you know is a 354 page judgment that comes from the high court judges there who Reliance has very well summed it up by saying you know it’s a natural resource. How can an agreement between two brothers have any bearing on a natural resource of the country?

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: And fourthly, if I look at Tata Steel fighting a battle in Jharkhand where iron ore mines are being allocated by the state government to Anil Ambani group, when they don’t even have a steel plant in (unintelligible 2.43-2.45).

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: In all cases, we are in the Supreme Court.


NIIRA: RIL, I am sure will move to the Supreme Court because this is a pathetic judgment.


NIIRA: I mean, it doesn’t make sense. The point I am making is that it is a natural resource. I mean, government, I mean there has to be a call, that has to be taken where you’ve got this one group that for personal profit and gain because obviously I…I feel more for it because I am at the receiving end from both my clients.


NIIRA: I can see it…I can see where my clients are…a desperation from both their points of view because here’s a person who really is fixing the system


NIIRA: I have heard it from Raja on spectrum, directly saying Nira, you know, I have a…I have a party to run

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: You know, I have seen Ratan Tata go to the prime minister when we were having coalition poll? And they were last…in the last regime when they put his hands up and said, you know, what do I do? I have a coalition partner.


NIIRA: And this is a natural resource of the country.

RAHUL: That is not valid any more.

NIIRA: What?

RAHUL: I mean, coalition partner.

NIIRA: No, agreed. I am…now it’s not. What I am saying is that today, whether it is the judiciary or whether whether it is at the high court level or if its at the supreme court, you know, in the case of Tata Power, one more thing that happened to them which was they were not allowed by the High Court also to do distribution in Mumbai

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: We went to the Supreme Court and got the order.

RAHUL: right

NIIRA: So, at each stage, one has to keep on fighting its business and go to a higher court a higher court a higher court because systems get fixed


NIIRA: I have seen it in telecom, I’ve…the ministers have told me on my face that don’t fight this battle


NIIRA: You know, we have taken a decision I have a party to run.


NIIRA: You know, the point I am making is from a media point of view


NIIRA: If in the review, I.. know coverage you have to do what you did yesterday, perfectly fine. We lost the battle.


NIIRA: No I’m not complaining ha…please don’t take me wrong, and I don’t want to be taken wrong in this at all

RAHUL: You know, I’ve…we’ve kept it pretty straightforward – headline is RNRL to get gas at 2.34

NIIRA: Absolutely yeah …yeah

RAHUL: ...as per the High Court ruling, Reliance should honour family settlement, that’s all

NIIRA: Absolutely, absolutely

RAHUL: we’ve added another line below saying Reliance has challenged the decision in the Supreme cCourt. So I think it is, you know, absolutely straightforward.


RAHUL: I didn’t want to, you know, say Mukesh and mmm you know, setback to Mukesh…

NIIRA: Correct correct. I saw that I saw the others do Mukesh and Anil and photographs and stuff like that

RAHUL: Exactly, and you will appreciate that I haven’t done it ha…

NIIRA: No no no I know it's going to be…

RAHUL: Long…long…long-standing this thing with Mr. Ambani as well that, you know, don’t put us together, don’t compare, don’t do this… I’m not…this is…actually in here you can’t much avoid because it’s about the two brothers fighting it, I mean, the two companies fighting it out, right?

NIIRA: Correct

RAHUL: But still we have kept the tone and all neutral and it’s all…so that…

NIIRA: No no no I appreciate…I appreciate them…Rahul I’m not…actually I’m not even calling to complain…please don’t take me wrong…I’m…I…you had to do what you’ve done and it’s…it is fine.

RAHUL: Yeah, I’m not…I’m also….

NIIRA: I’m coming at it…


NIIRA: I’m coming at it from a different point of view.


NIIRA: In I’m saying…there isn’t….I'm not saying he is the... it can be anyone.

RAHUL: ya ya

NIIRA: But there is a natural resource of the country whether it is coal whether it is spectrum whether it is gas


NIIRA: If there is not…don’t we have a responsibility?

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: I mean, I’m saying this to Mukesh also that look, you know, perhaps government has to take over responsibility of all natural resources. I spoke to Mr. Tata last night, when he was in New York, and I said to him… I said listen, you know, this is…this is what has happened…he was pretty shocked…and I said you know Ratan, I am going to put this…push this point and I want your approval. And he said absolutely, and if you want me to write to the Prime Minister I will do so.


NIIRA: …That natural resources of the country need to be dealt with much much more differently.

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: You can’t have a High Court…I mean I’m sure we will go to the Supreme Court and…and….that is RIL. But then, there will be Tata Power will also do…I mean they’ve gone on


NIIRA: …Because they are pretty sure about their argument that there’s been diversion of for personal profit.


NIIRA: Not in public interest... Rahul, I…I’m just seeking aa aa…maybe I’m being emotional because it’s my client but I am just seeking a aa aa…you know…a broad view from you as to…you know this is a friend just to say you know, don’t you think this is right?

RAHUL: (6.43 to 6.48 unclear mmmmm….ahem)….See, I will you know….(unclear) yesterday was to sort of to keep it muted and neutral as far as possible. So we will….let me…let me just see what we can do…we will definitely…you know…will do something about it.

NIIRA: No, I wanted to…Rahul, honestly even if you don’t do anything about it, that’s not the reason I am calling. I’m calling because I wanted your frank opinion from…you know…I thought I’d just…you know…it’s just gone on for so long…


NIIRA: And I’ve seen it being faced by two of India’s largest groups, today.


NIIRA: So, I’m just wondering, you know…where are we? A nuclear deal happens and you fix the spectrum


NIIRA: You know, you…something else happens and you fix coal


NIIRA: You know, at whose hands are we? That’s, that’s the point I am making….and I’ve seen it happen and…and…you know Ratan, he will never do anything that’s out of his (inner??? 7.33indecipherable) that’d be wrong


NIIRA: And in power, and finally when they’ve got the distribution licence issued from the Supreme Court.

RAHUL: Right

NIIRA: These guys held us back for 5 years, didn’t allow the distribution licence to be issued to us.

RAHUL: Right…ya ya no and…

NIIRA: Ya, so that’s the limited point I am trying to make and I was hoping that…you know…just wanted an opinion from you …it was just a little…this thing….and just to say thanks that you didn’t write Anil and Mukesh and all that shit

RAHUL: no no…and also

NIIRA: I am really grateful for TK Arun’s point of view. I thought that was really, really, really good.

RAHUL: Exactly….so so…that point we will work (….08.06 unclear) so so I am saying that let’s… let's see what we can do we will keep this in mind. We will be sensitive….I mean, you know…I mean, we will not be…we will not go over the top on all this…

NIIRA: No, I will…

RAHUL: And, and we will…we will keep it you know, fact etc. and all of that. So that’s…that we will definitely do

NIIRA: Okay thank you

RAHUL: On anything else you may need just feel free to (>>>call Bodhi 8.24)

NIIRA: No no…Bodhi…Bodhi…no no Bodhi…Bodhi called me I am trying to get him Ramadorai on 22nd and (Sreedharan???8.31) sent me mails I am…I have got requests from all the others but don’t worry I am putting Kishore Chaukar, Gopal with you guys on ET Now

RAHUL: Okay great

NIIRA: Ya, so I am doing that…I’m doing that for the budget

RAHUL: Ravi Kant, any chance?

NIIRA: Ravi Kant’s travelling, he’s really caught on JLR let’s not pull him out of that one. Let him…let him


NIIRA: maybe I will get you Telang


NIIRA: Or the…or the…the CFO is not very good on television. He needs a bit of media training, but let me see if I can get one of them. They are just so caught up on JLR.


NIIRA: I will…I will get you Kaushik Chatterjee who’s the CFO for Tata Steel.

RAHUL: Okay…and I’ve…I’ve told…I’ve told Sri to be in touch with you and I’ve also had word with Bodhi so…so Bodhi…so I mean…I am working on it…give me a few weeks and I think we should be there and…we will keep an eye on all of that. Right?

NIIRA: Ya, he called me today…Bodhi I said don’t worry I know Ravi’s…I mean look, he said no I can’t tell Bodhi…I didn’t want to tell Bodhi why he said no…but I didn’t want to but Bodhi…


NIIRA: He’s not going to do it…I knew that. Ravi called me and said…you know…send the mail (unintelligible).

RAHUL: I’m trying to make everyone take two steps forward and no step backward. So…so…if…if a pre-emptive call is always better than a call to crib, haan…

NIIRA: Hmm…Hmm…

RAHUL: From both ways

NIIRA: hmm…hmm…theek hai

RAHUL: I don’t want to call and crib to you…ha

NIIRA: Nahi nahi

RAHUL: And you must if you feel that tomorrow is a big day and something happens then you know…I mean, other than us watching, you know…watching it closely, just call so that, you know, we…we fix it before it actually gets done.

NIIRA: Right

RAHUL: So…so these things we will do and we will…the other thing, Nira, if possible if you could send those messages…if it's not possible that’s also fine, I understand. But if you could, then we need it in the next couple of days.

NIIRA: The two messages, no? Ya, okay

RAHUL: I mean, from both (unintelligible)

NIIRA: I will see…I did tell them both on Friday…and they were supposed to…I’ll just chase up…I’ll reach…well, I’ll only reach Ratan tonight, so I’ll talk to him in the evening, when he’s…

RAHUL: Ya, whichever way, I mean we just need…I mean we just need one, sort of…it could be…you could pull it out of the letter, you could do whatever (recording ends)

Transcribed by Alok

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