Supreme Court grants 10 years to telecom firms to pay AGR dues worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore

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Supreme Court docket grants 10 years to telecom companies to pay AGR dues value Rs 1.6 lakh crore

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Failure to pay the instalments of the dues would incur penalty, curiosity, and contempt of court docket, the Bench cautioned the telecom companies

New Delhi: The Supreme Court docket Tuesday granted 10 years to telecom companies reminiscent of Vodafone Concept, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices for paying the Adjusted Gross Income (AGR)-related dues to the Division of Telecommunications (DoT) with sure circumstances.

The apex court docket 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 court docket within the matter is remaining.

The bench requested the Managing Administrators (MDs) or Chief Government 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 court docket, the Bench cautioned the telecom companies.

The highest court docket mentioned that situation of sale of the spectrum by telcos going through insolvency proceedings shall be determined by the Nationwide Firm Legislation 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.

Whereas saying 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.

Throughout an earlier listening to, the bench had additionally heard arguments on the purpose as as to if spectrum may be offered by telecom corporations going through proceedings below the Insolvency and Chapter Code (IBC) and the way the AGR-related dues may be recovered from them.

The highest court docket had in October 2019 delivered verdict on the AGR situation, primarily its definition for calculating authorities dues of telecom corporations reminiscent of licence charge and spectrum utilization costs.

The DoT in March this yr 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’ll not hear “even for a second” the arguments on reassessment or re-calculation of the AGR-related dues.

Previous to this, it had requested the telecom corporations to file their books of accounts for final ten yr and provides an affordable timeframe for clearing the dues.

It had mentioned that the interval of 15-20 years sought by among the telecom corporations was not cheap and had requested the Centre as to how it will 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 court docket directed the DoT to apprise it of spectrum sharing completed by telecom corporations and the way a lot is the legal responsibility of the sharers.

It requested the DoT secretary to file a selected 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 court docket had expressed concern over non-payment of AGR-related dues by telecom corporations that are below insolvency saying “with out paying for the horse, telcos are taking a experience”.

On 14 August, the highest court docket had sought the small print 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 instructed the highest court docket there was a distinction of opinion between two of its ministers (DoT and the Ministry of Company Affairs) on the problem of sale of spectrum throughout insolvency proceedings.

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