This Article is From Aug 22, 2020

Supreme Court Seeks Details From Telecom Department On Dues Of Firms Sharing Spectrum

AGR Case: The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking staggered payment of dues to the tune of around Rs 92,000 crore to the government by various telecom companies.

Supreme Court Seeks Details From Telecom Department On Dues Of Firms Sharing Spectrum

AGR Case: The Supreme Court adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 24

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to file a detailed affidavit on the issue of the dues to be paid by companies using shared spectrum. The top court was hearing the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) payment matter. A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, asked the telecom department Secretary to submit the detailed reply on past dues, dates of grant and transfer of licenses, and adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 24.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Niraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Videocon Telecom's resolution professional, argued that the AGR dues stand at a crystallised at around of Rs 1,376 crore.

He said that the waterfall mechanism Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) apply to all the government debts as per the past Supreme Court verdict.

Suppose 23 per cent of RCom's spectrum was being used by RJio, what's the amount paid by RJio, the court asked.

The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions seeking staggered payment of AGR dues to the tune of around Rs 92,000 crore to the Government of India by various telecom companies, including Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

Earlier, the top court had asked the DoT to file its detailed response on whether the AGR dues of RCom should be recovered from Reliance Jio.

In a major setback to telecom companies, the Supreme Court had in October last year, rejected the appeal filed by the telecom companies against the Centre's definition of AGR and upheld the Central government's plea on the estimation of AGR at around Rs 92,000 crore.