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No interest in corporate farming, Reliance Jio tells Court

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has agreed to hear a petition by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. regarding damages to the company’s telecom towers.

The bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal issued a notice to the central and Punjab governments seeking their response on the petition.

In its writ petition, Jio told the high court that more than 1,500 telecom towers of the company in Punjab were either damaged or left inoperative by miscreants in the last few weeks and, as a result, its mobile network has been crippled.

Jio also accused ‘’vested interests inimical’’ to the company of spreading false rumors to the effect that Jio, its parent company Reliance Industries Ltd. and its affiliates stand to benefit from the recently passed farm laws, which have seen protests in Punjab as well as few other parts of the country.

‘’Reliance Retail Limited (RRL), Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), or any other affiliate of our parent company, i.e., Reliance Industries Limited have not done any “corporate” or “contract” farming in the past, and have absolutely no plans to enter this business,’’ said an RIL statement issued yesterday after the petition was filed.

In its petition, a copy of which has been reviewed by BloombergQuint, Jio told the court that:

Due to a sustained disinformation campaign by vested interests, Jio’s business and its assets have become a target of attack and destruction by miscreants purporting to be engaged in public demonstrations and protests against the farm legislations.

A number of centres and stores of the company have also been forcibly closed by miscreants using illegal force and intimidation.

By exploiting the false propaganda, subscribers of the company are being forced to port to other networks.

Employees are carrying out their duty under a constant threat of life and security.

Reliance Jio also said it had earlier written to the Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh over the issue and that the authorities concerned have acted on its representations. However, the company said, there is a need for continuous deployment of resources to protect its infrastructure.

Jio requested the court to issue directions to the state and central authorities to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for the attack on its infrastructure as well as ensure continued adequate protection through the law enforcement agencies.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court will take up the case for hearing next on Feb. 8. BloombergQuint

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