Telenor says had asked Sanjay Chandra to step down

Telenor Group has requested Sanjay Chandra, the MD of the Unitech group, to step down as chairman of its joint venture mobile company, Unitech Wireless, the Norwegian company said in a statement.

It had earlier this month sent a letter to Unitech Ltd., requesting Sanjay Chandra to step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors in Unitech Wireless, the Norwegian firm said in a statement.

It asked Unitech Ltd. to appoint a substitute for Sanjay Chandra for as long as the 2G court case is ongoing in India.

Telenor has invested INR 61 billion in Unitech Wireless and holds a 67.25 per cent ownership share. The company already serves close to 25 million customers since the commercial launch in December 2009.

“Withdrawing from the Chairman position is the most appropriate and decent thing for Sanjay Chandra to do given the current circumstances. It is of vital importance that the running business of our Indian operation is not hampered.

“As a responsible shareholder, Telenor believes that Unitech Ltd., in the best interest of Unitech Wireless, should appoint a replacement for Sanjay Chandra as soon as possible,” Glenn Mandelid, Director of Communications for Telenor Group region Asia, was quoted by an emailed statement from the company.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charge sheet names the managing Director of Unitech, Sanjay Chandra, and also names Unitech Wireless for actions when it was a fully owned Unitech company, prior to Telenor Group entering India.

Chandra has been denied bail by a special CBI court today.

“Telenor Group supports transparency and predictable frameworks for the telecom industry. Telenor has zero tolerance for corruption, and if the CBI trial proves any malpractice, those responsible must be brought to book,” said Glenn Mandelid. “However, no charges have been proven and we expect Sanjay Chandra to defend himself in court,” he added.