India’s Cellular Operators Association of India has rejected the demand for an apology by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio in the ongoing war of words between the two.
“There is no question of apologising to Jio as there is no worthy reason to do so, as the COAI’s differences are with Trai’s order, not anything with a specific operator,” COAI director general Rajan Mathews told Economic Times.
Mathews’ response came after an aggrieved Reliance Jio on Monday gave the COAI 48 hours to “issue a public apology and appropriate clarification in regard to false and defamatory statements contained in the Press Release.” In a letter to Mathews, Jio had said, “Rather than take the requisite remedial action, the media statement not only fails to include a public apology for the injury to Reliance Jio’s reputation occasioned by the Press Release, but extends the campaign of falsehood and defamation that COAI and you have maintained against Reliance Jio.”
Responding to the Jio’s notice, the COAI said, “Our differences are with the orders of the Regulator and not with any specific operator. Our intention is not to aggrieve any particular operator.” Reliance, according to a report by IANS, had earlier termed COAI’s comments “defamatory” and in a letter to COAI on 22 February said, “COAI and Rajan Mathews (Director General, COAI) are hereby called upon to issue a public apology and issue appropriate clarification expressly regretting their callous and defamatory statements through a separate press release issued no later than 48 hours from receipt of this notice.”
The COAI, in a press statement dated 20 February, had said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) recent orders, including the latest tariff order amendment, “seem to be strengthening the ambitions of one particular operator with deep pockets and monopolistic designs at the expense of other operators”.