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Supreme Court grants 10 years to telecom firms to pay AGR dues worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore – Business News , Firstpost



Failure to pay the instalments of the dues would incur penalty, curiosity, and contempt of courtroom, the Bench cautioned the telecom firms

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday granted 10 years to telecom firms equivalent to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices for paying the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with sure situations.

The apex courtroom requested telcos to pay 10 p.c of the AGR-related dues by 31 March, 2021.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra held that the demand made by the DoT and the decision delivered by the highest courtroom within the matter is remaining.

The bench requested the Managing Directors (MDs) or Chief Executive Officer (CEOs) of the telcos involved to furnish enterprise or private assure inside 4 weeks for fee of dues.

Failure to pay the instalments of the dues would incur penalty, curiosity and contempt of courtroom, the Bench cautioned the telecom firms.

The prime courtroom mentioned that problem of sale of the spectrum by telcos going through insolvency proceedings shall be determined by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The bench delivered its verdict on the problems, together with the timeline for staggered fee of AGR-related dues amounting to about Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

While announcing the decision, the bench mentioned that until the final instalment is paid by the telcos, their financial institution ensures furnished to the DoT could be stored alive.

During an earlier listening to, the bench had additionally heard arguments on the purpose as to whether or not spectrum could be bought by telecom firms going through proceedings underneath the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the way the AGR-related dues could be recovered from them.

The prime courtroom had in October 2019 delivered verdict on the AGR problem, primarily its definition for calculating authorities dues of telecom firms equivalent to licence price and spectrum utilization fees.

The DoT in March this 12 months moved a plea looking for permission for permitting staggered fee of the dues by telcos over a interval of 20 years.

The bench reserved the decision on July 20 on staggered funds, saying that it’s going to not hear “even for a second” the arguments on reassessment or re-calculation of the AGR-related dues.

Prior to this, it had requested the telecom firms to file their books of accounts for final ten 12 months and provides an inexpensive time-frame for clearing the dues.

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

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

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

It requested the DoT secretary to file a particular affidavit apprising it about who was utilizing the spectrum from the date of grant of licence 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 p.c of Reliance Communication (RCom’s) spectrum.

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

On 14 August, the highest courtroom had sought the main points of spectrum sharing pact between RCom 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 informed the highest courtroom there was a distinction of opinion between two of its ministers (DoT and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs) on the problem of sale of spectrum throughout insolvency proceedings.

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