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Come clear on how you want to recover AGR-related dues, SC tells Centre

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to come clear on how it intends to recover Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues from telecom companies facing insolvency proceedings.

A Special Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra was however told by the government that the spectrum given to these companies cannot be sold as it is national property.

“Please tell us what will happen to the DoT’s AGR-related dues if the companies like RCOM, Aircel and Videocon go into insolvency then what would happen to the said amount. You have to do something. This is public money,” the Bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

It said the court needs to ascertain the bona fides of the telecos facing proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

Mr. Mehta agreed to file a detailed response.

On July 20, the top court had made it clear it will not hear “even for a second” arguments on reassessment or re-calculation of the dues which run into about ₹1.6 lakh crore.

The apex court had raised doubts to a proposal for telcos to pay the dues over 15 to 20 years. It had reserved the verdict on the timeline for the staggered payment.

The apex court had in a verdict in October 2019 directed the telcos to pay back their dues to the government. The original deadline for repayment was three months.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 7:45:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/come-clear-on-how-you-want-to-recover-agr-related-dues-sc-tells-centre/article32321389.ece

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