Reliance Jio on Monday again threatened COAI and its director-general Rajan Mathews with legal action stating that the industry body’s comments on February 24 on the issue of Trai’s latest regulations on predatory pricing shows that it is working for the benefit of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. Jio in a letter to COAI and Mathews said the statement fails to include a “public apology” for the injury to Jio’s reputation, but extends the “falsehood and defamation” that the industry body and Mathews have maintained against the company. “The media statement furnishes further proof that COAI has shed any pretence of acting for the benefit of the telecom industry as a whole and is openly functioning as the mouthpiece of the incumbent dominant operators,” it added. On COAI’s statement that the issue is not with any particular operator, but with Trai, Jio said it is an “implicit admission” of the “patently false and defamatory nature” of the statement and constitutes an attempt to avoid liability.
Stating that COAI’s recent statement reflects the views of Bharti, Vodafone and Idea, the operator said there was no effort to consult Jio or the other core member, Aircel. “RJIL reiterates the contents of its legal notice (of February 22) and once again reserves its rights, inter alia, to initiate appropriate proceedings in accordance with law in regard to the same,” Jio added. On February 20, COAI had said Trai’s latest regulations benefit a particular operator (Jio), and had hit out at the regulator saying that the recent amendment has “deeply victimised” the industry. Following which, on February 23, Jio responded with a legal notice to Mathews and COAI stating it as “reckless, willful and flagrant act of making slanderous and libellous accusations” against it. The operator said the statement is “ex-facie defamatory”. Then on February 24, Mathews speaking with FE said he does not see any “worthy” reason for tendering an apology as COAI’s issues are with the regulator and not with any individual member.