Wednesday, Aug 21, 2002
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"It is absolutely untrue that I was consulted by Mr. Pendse and I was not involved in TFL and its issues,'' Mr. Tata told newspersons after the annual meeting (AGM) of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. here.
"The first time, I was informed was when Mr. Pendse called me up in Dubai in April 2001. If I was involved why would he contact me,'' he said adding, the matter would be sorted out in the court.
Mr. Pendse, in his affidavit filed in the Mumbai High Court had said that Mr. Tata was aware of all the investment decisions made by TFL. All investments of TFL were collective decisions endorsed by the entire board, he had added.
Earlier in the AGM, Mr. Tata said no depositor or shareholder in TFL was allowed to suffer a loss and the group had put in Rs. 500-700 crores in the company as a moral responsibility.
Mr. Tata said the board did not require a separate approval from the Central Government regarding the investment in Tatatele Services Ltd. (TTSL) and the views of government nominees were recorded.
Referring to inter-connect pact with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), Mr. Tata said, "we are in dialogue with the Government. The company has an option to go to the regulator and subsequently to the courts to resolve the issue.''
"There is a gap between what they (MTNL and BSNL) want and what is realistically possible,'' he said.
The international and domestic rates were falling and the pie was small, which had to be equitably shared, he added.
Pendse says he was made scapegoat
The former Managing Director of Tata Finance Ltd (TFL), Dilip Pendse, has charged the company with suppressing material facts before the Mumbai High Court in its suit filed against him and alleged that he was singled out, targeted and made a scapegoat.
In an affidavit filed in reply to the suit, Mr. Pendse said high-level officials of TFL, including Chairman F. A. Mehta and other members of the board Ratan Tata and N. A. Soonawala, were parties to the most of the decisions and transactions of the company.
TFL filed the suit against Pendse and others claiming damages of Rs. 424.50 crore for causing loss to the company by certain illegal financial transactions.
Referring to the current fiscal, Mr. Tata said with the tariff coming down there could be a squeeze on margins, revenue and profit after tax, which was happening with telecom companies across the world.
Mr. Tata said the current Managing Director, S. K. Gupta, would retire on September 30 on attaining 60 years as per the company's retirement policy. PTI
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