SingTel Denies Any Wrongdoing in India



NEW DELHI : SingTel Tuesday said it hasn't violated any rules in India and will "actively defend" itself against a case registered against the company.
India's Central Bureau of Investigation said Monday it has registered an initial criminal case against the Singapore company as well as India's Bharti Airtel Ltd.  and Tata Communications Ltd. ( Tata Communications Limited), alleging that they violated the country's telecom rules and deprived the government of at least 480 million rupees ($8.89 million) in revenue.
The CBI said SingTel, a foreign company, provided international long-distance telecom services to some Indian customers without having a permit to do so and collected fees directly from them. This company conspired with the two local firms for providing the service, it alleged.
India's telecom department issues separate permits to telecom companies for providing local and international phone services. The permit holders must share a part of their revenue with the government as license fees.
"No official charges have been brought against SingTel," the company said in a statement.
"As a long-term strategic investor, SingTel respects and conducts its business according to applicable laws in the countries it operates in," the company said.
SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest telecom operator by revenue, owns about a third of Bharti, India's biggest telecom company. Tata Communications operates an undersea cable network.
Monday, Tata Communications said it hadn't violated any of India's telecom licensing terms. A telecom tribunal had in September overturned a penalty imposed by the telecom department over the same issue, Tata Communications said.
The telecom tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which deals with disputes in the sector.