RCom moves SC against TDSAT order rejecting extra time to pay deferred spectrum liabilities

By: | Published: April 24, 2018 6:07 AM

Reliance Communications on Monday moved the Supreme Court, challenging the TDSAT’s April 19 judgment that rejected its request for the grant of additional time for the payment of Rs 774.19 crore for deferred spectrum liabilities.

Reliance Communications, supreme court, spectrum liabilities, TDSAT,  Reliance Telecom, DoT, NCLTThe company is liable to pay Rs 281.4 crore and Rs 492.8 crore towards the deferred spectrum liabilities arising out of the spectrum acquired in 2013 and 2015, respectively. (PTI)

Reliance Communications on Monday moved the Supreme Court, challenging the TDSAT’s April 19 judgment that rejected its request for the grant of additional time for the payment of Rs 774.19 crore for deferred spectrum liabilities. The company is liable to pay Rs 281.4 crore and Rs 492.8 crore towards the deferred spectrum liabilities arising out of the spectrum acquired in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The last date for payment of Rs 281.4 crore was April 5 and that of Rs 492.8 crore was April 19. A bench led by Justice AK Goel will hear the case on Tuesday. Requesting the apex court to stay the TDSAT order and restrain DoT from taking any coercive steps against them, RCom and its subsidiary Reliance Telecom told the apex court that the tribunal had failed to appreciate that they were willing to pay penal interest at 2% above the prime lending rate of SBI for the delay in making the payment.

Stating that DoT is fully securitised towards the third installment on account of the bank guarantees that are valid up to July 2018 and April 2019, the companies in its appeal stated that the non-extension of time would hinder the RCom’s debt restructuring being undertaken by them at the behest of the lenders and secured creditors.
Citing “unforeseen and uncalled for circumstances beyond their control”, RCom said the tribunal lost sight of the fact that it had suffered the setback due to the arbitral tribunal’s order in the Ericsson India and Indus Towers cases and the NCLT’s stay order in the HSBC Daisy Investments’ case that stalled the sale transaction with Reliance Jio.

In December 2017, as part of its debt resolution plan, RCom had struck a Rs 25,000-crore deal with Reliance Jio for the sale of its mortgaged assets to avoid insolvency proceedings. These include spectrum, media convergence nodes (MCN), real estate, towers and fibre assets. RCom had participated in the 2015 auctions and was successful in the 800MHz band, 900 MHz band and the 1800 MHz bands in certain service areas for which it made an upfront payment of Rs 1,104.09 crore.

Similarly, RCom’s predecessor Sistema Shyam Tele Services (SSTL) had emerged as a successful bidder in the 2013 spectrum auctions and an amount of Rs 1,626.3 crore was furnished upfront for the eight circles. An amount of Rs 780.8 crore was also paid towards two installments. While the apex court earlier this month allowed for RCom to proceed with the sale of spectrum, media convergence nodes (MCN) and real estate, the NCLAT last week stayed the sale of its tower
and fibre assets owned by tower firm Reliance Infratel.

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