Info-tech

Tata Sons not willing to pay compensation: NTT DoCoMo

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 18, 2018 Published on July 29, 2016

The spat between NTT DoCoMo and Tata Sons has intensified with the former accusing the Indian conglomerate of not doing enough to pay the $1.17 billion in damages awarded by an international court of arbitration.

In a strongly worded statement, the Japanese telecom major said that Tata Sons has not shown willingness to make the payment.

“The only excuse for non-payment of the award which is alleged by Tata is the decision by the Reserve Bank of India earlier this week, which was based on a mischaracterised application unilaterally made by Tata without first consulting its partner DoCoMo.  By definition that decision only relates to payment of hard currency out of India. It cannot be used to block payment from funds or assets outside India nor can it prevent enforcement against such assets of Tata outside India. DoCoMo does not think that Tata Sons has in truth shown its willingness to make the payment,” DoCoMo said in the statement.

At the centre of the entire dispute is the Japanese firm’s decision to exit the joint venture company Tata Teleservices. The dispute between the two sides dates back to January 2015 when Japan’s NTT DoCoMo filed an arbitration request with the London Court of International Arbitration against Tata Sons for failing to find a buyer for its stake in Tata Teleservices. The court awarded $1.17 billion in damages in favour of the Japanese company .

On Tuesday, Tata Sons said that it has agreed to deposit $1.17 billion (₹7,950 crore) with the Delhi High Court Registrar. The money, however, cannot be released to NTT DoCoMo because the RBI has declined to give permission. On Wednesday, NTT DoCoMo had bagged an order from London’s Commercial Court against Tata Sons, allowing it to enforce the arbitration award in England. Following this, Tata Sons got a breather from the same court, which allowed it to appeal against the order within 23 days.

NTT DoCoMo has threatened to attach Tata assets in other countries, including in the UK. However, a Tata spokesperson said: “ The arbitral award cannot be enforced until the end of the 23-day period, or until any application made by Tata Sons has been finally decided upon. 

“Further, the UK assets of Tata Steel and Jaguar Land Rover are not owned by Tata Sons. It follows that the award cannot be enforced against those companies.”

Published on July 29, 2016
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