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Vodafone Idea, Bharti move Supreme Court to modify AGR order

Parties will take time to ‘reconcile’ with calculations: Bharti

Telecom majors Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel moved the Supreme Court on Monday for modification of its October 24, 2019 order for payment of dues to the government within three months, saying the direction would have huge ramifications on the telecom industry and “severely hamper” programmes like Digital India, Make in India and Skill India.

 

The pleas come after a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Arun Mishra, on January 16 dismissed petitions filed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, among others, for a review of its October 2019 judgment, upholding the recovery of past dues amounting to ₹1.47 lakh crore from them. The recovery by the government was based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of about ₹92,000 crore.

Vodafone urged the court to alter its order and permit it to submit an application before the Department of Telecom (DoT) for drawing up a schedule for payment of the dues.

The review petitions were rejected by the Bench, also comprising Justices Abdul S. Nazeer and M.R. Shah, in their chambers.

Bharti said the exercise for calculating the amounts due, including past demands, are continuing and would require further interaction with the government as it covered licences across 22 circles and period of over 15 years. Besides, it said all the parties would take time to “reconcile” with the calculations.

“Payment of thousands of crores in due amounts without proper assessment and financial calculations and time for payment will not only cause irreparable damage to the appellants (telcos) but also to the telecom industry, leading to possible disruption of a public utility service owing to the bad financial position of the telecom companies,” they appealed.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:34:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/vodafone-idea-bharti-move-sc-to-modify-agr-order/article30609446.ece

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