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66 cases filed against Anil Ambani's Company

Press Trust Of India
Feb 05, 2008 at 08:52pm IST

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Mumbai: Anil Ambani group's Reliance Infratel Ltd appears to be facing maximum problem in Uttar Pradesh, where the government has filed over five dozen cases on property and stamp duty disputes against the company, which is planning an IPO to raise up to Rs 6,000 crore.

"There have been 66 cases against our company by the Uttar Pradesh Government before the Court of Additional Divisional Commission, Additional District Magistrate or the Collector," said the draft prospectus filed with market regulator SEBI yesterday.

The company has proposed an IPO within days of another group company Reliance Power raising Rs 11,560 crore through a maiden public issue. The issue was oversubscribed 73 times, even as other companies like Emaar and Wockhardt are finding it hard to attract investors.

Most of the cases filed by the UP government against Reliance Infratel pertain to property disputes and payment of stamp duty, the draft red herring prospectus said.

In addition, the company is also facing property related litigations and consumer disputes concerning noise and air pollution in different parts of the country.

The disputes relating to property and pollution assume significance as the company is primarily engaged in setting up towers for facilitating wireless communication. According to the draft document, the company proposes to utilise about Rs 4,623.7 crore of the public issue to set up 16,000 passive infrastructure sites for wireless communication. The company proposes an initial public issue of 8.9 crore equity shares at a face value of Rs 5 each.

In addition, the draft prospectus said, several cases have been filed by individuals and other entities against the Reliance Infratel, for causing noise and air pollution and creating health hazards.

"There have been 77 cases filed against our company before various civil and criminal courts involving suits for permanent injunction against installing the towers on the ground of noise and air pollution, health hazard from the rays of the tower and potential danger of the tower collapsing on surrounding structures and inhabitants," it said.

In as many as 14 cases, the complainants have sought removal of towers or stoppage of construction of towers in residential areas, the draft prospectus added. In one of the cases, the owner has sought compensation from Reliance Infratel for damage caused to the building as a result of dismantling of a telecom tower.

The Anil Ambani Company, it said, also faces court cases for "unpaid rent coupled with continued possession of leased property without payment of dues".

The company is also facing cases pertaining to encroachment of land, weakening of structure as a result of erection of tower on roof top, installing of towers on temple and school complex, laying of optical fibre without the permission of residents etc.

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