SC to pronounce verdict on Tuesday on telecom firms’ AGR-related challenge


New Delhi, August 31

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Tuesday on points, together with the timeline for staggered fee of Adjusted Gross Revenue-related dues which run into about Rs 1.6 lakh crore by telecom firms.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra can also be all set to ship the decision on the level as as to whether spectrum will be offered by the telecom firms going through proceedings underneath the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the way the AGR-related dues will be recovered from them.

The prime court docket had in October 2019 delivered the decision on the AGR challenge for calculating authorities dues of telecom firms, equivalent to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices, as licence price and spectrum utilization costs.

Later, the Department of Telecom had in March this 12 months moved a plea looking for permission for staggered fee in a time interval of practically 20 years for the telecom firms.

The bench, which additionally comprised justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, had reserved the decision on July 20 on the side of granting timeline to telcos for staggered fee of AGR- associated dues by saying that it’s going to not hear “even for a second” the  arguments on reassessment or re-calculation of the AGR.

Prior to this, it had requested the telecom firms to file their books of accounts for final 10 years and provides an inexpensive time-frame for paying the AGR dues and later received miffed when some senior legal professionals began disputing the dues being calculated by the DoT.

It had mentioned the interval of 15-20 years sought by a few of the telecom firms was not affordable and had requested the Centre as to how it might safe the fee of dues by them.

Later, the highest court docket on August 24 was knowledgeable by the DoT that all liabilities, together with AGR-related dues, needs to be cleared by telecom corporations previous to spectrum buying and selling as per the rules.

After listening to arguments, it had then reserved the decision on the level as as to whether spectrum will be offered by the telecom firms going through proceedings underneath the IBC and different associated points.

The DoT had additional instructed the highest court docket that it may possibly search to get well dues from sellers and patrons of spectrum, collectively or individually.

The DoT had mentioned evaluation of dues is underneath course of and as soon as the Supreme Court clarifies the authorized place on spectrum sharing, it’s going to transfer to get well the excellent quantities from the telecom corporations.

The DoT had mentioned no demand has been raised towards Reliance Jio and Airtel for half dues of Reliance Communications (RCom) and Videocon respectively.

The prime court docket may also give its discovering on fee of dues, if any, on Jio and Airtel which have spectrum sharing pacts with RCom, Aircel and Videocon respectively.

On August 21, the highest court docket had directed the DoT to apprise it the premise of spectrum sharing finished by telecom firms and the way a lot is the legal responsibility of the sharers.

The prime court docket requested the DoT secretary to file a particular affidavit apprising it about who was utilizing the spectrum from the date of grant of license and from which date the respective sharing of spectrum has taken place.

It had requested the DoT what was the quantity paid by Reliance Jio for utilizing 23 per cent of Reliance Communication (RCom’s) spectrum.

On August 20, the highest court docket had expressed concern over non-payment of the AGR associated dues by the telecom firms that are underneath insolvency saying “without paying for the horse, telcos are taking a ride”.

On August 14, the highest court docket had sought the small print of spectrum sharing pact between RComm and Reliance Jio and mentioned as to why the corporate utilizing the spectrum of the opposite agency can’t be requested to pay the AGR associated dues to the federal government.

The Centre had earlier instructed the highest court docket there was a distinction of opinion between two of its ministers (DOT and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs) on the difficulty of sale of spectrum throughout insolvency proceedings. — PTI



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