Hutchison Telecommunications said Wednesday that a non-government body -Telecom Watchdog – had filed a petition against it with Delhi’s High Court, alleging that it is in breach of the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations.

Telecom Watchdog is petitioning for the cancellation of Hutchison Essar’s licence. It also wants an investigation launched into the alleged breach.

Hutchison recently struck a deal to sell its 67 per cent stake in Essar to British operator, Vodafone for $11.7bn.

In a statement, Hutchison Telecommunications said it considers “the petition is entirely without merit and will take all necessary action to vigorously defend the groundless allegations made against them (sic).”

The purchase of Essar has been hitting headlines for months. The interest in what is a relatively small carrier whose customers account for less than 15 per cent of existing Indian subscribers is evidence of how important operators see the deal in the world’s fastest growing mobile market.