AGR Hearing HIGHLIGHTS: SC reserves judgement on spectrum liability, recovery of dues from insolvent telcos

By: |
Updated: August 24, 2020 5:53:07 pm

SC AGR Hearing HIGHLIGHTS: The Supreme Court in its hearing today reserved its judgement on the spectrum liability and non-payment of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telcos under insolvency.

SC AGR live, spectrum sale, telecom sectorA bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah is hearing the case

SC AGR Hearing HIGHLIGHTS: The Supreme Court continued hearing the case on non-payment of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telcos under insolvency, and reserved the judgement on spectrum liability. A bench comprising of Justices Arum Mishra, MR Shah and S Abdul Nazeer heard the case. Earlier in July 20 hearing, the top court reserved its order on a 20-year timeline for staggered payment of AGR dues by telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices. During the hearing today, the SC said if telcos are unwilling to pay, we will direct cancellation of spectrum allocation. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance Jio, said if it is cancelled, the government will not get anything and even banks would get nothing. The top court said if the spectrum is subject to the resolution process, government dues will be wiped out. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that under trading guidelines all past dues should be cleared prior to spectrum trading. DoT can seek to recover dues from seller and buyers, jointly or severally. When SC asked Solicitor General Mehta that why no demand was raised on Videocon, SG replied that it is in the process. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that telcos are supposed to make two payments. When a telco participates in an auction, some amount is to be paid at the threshold while the remaining amount is to be paid in instalments over 15 years.

Live Blog

Highlights

    16:38 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SC reserves judgement on AGR dues recovery

    The Supreme Court reserves judgment on the recovery of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues from insolvent telcos.

    16:25 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Correct facts should go in the judgment: Justice Mishra

    "Telecom secretary should answer and place before us in black and white. Correct facts should go in the judgment, file just a half-page," said Justice Arun Mishra.

    16:23 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    I am being told that there is single consolidated demand on AGR: Salve

    Senior advocate Harish Salve said, "I am being told that there is single consolidated demand on AGR".

    16:23 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Won't be able to quantify in two days: Solicitor General

    Solicitor General said it won't be able to quantify in two days. "We are expecting some documents from the telcos," said SG

    16:20 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Whatever SC judgment says we will honour that: Sibal

    "Whatever the Supreme Court judgment says we will honour that," said senior advocate Kapil Sibal.

    16:19 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Everything will be paid. Not a paise will be held: Sibal

    "Everything will be paid. Not a paise will be held. We have paid as per assessment. Let them raise it," said Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel.

    16:18 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Have paid on self-assessment basis: Salve

    Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the Reliance Jio, said they have paid on self-assessment basis.

    16:17 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Why you have not raised this demand on traded quantity?: SC

    "Why you have not raised this demand on traded quantity?" the Supreme Court asked.

    16:17 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Whether you quantified the dues from 2016 till date: SC

    The Supreme Court asked: "Whether you quantified the dues from 2016 till date". SG said the assessment is in process.

    16:16 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Clarify if the demand was raised wrt purchase by airtel and R-Jio: SC

    Supreme Court asked the secretary to clarify if the demand was raised wrt purchase by airtel and Rjio.

    16:15 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Everyone knew what dues were: Sibal

    "Everyone knew what dues were," said Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel.

    16:14 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    if DoT raise the demand, law will take its course: Sibal

    Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel, saif if DoT raise the demand, the law will take its course.

    16:12 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    How can past dues be put on something already sold?: Salve

    Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance Jio, asked: "How can past dues be put on something already sold?".

    16:11 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    If seller didn't pay pending dues, trading guidelines transfer liability on buyer: SC

    The Supreme Court asked If the seller didn't pay pending dues, trading guidelines transfer liability on the buyer. Trading guidelines mandate clearing of pending dues by the seller before the sale.

    16:10 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    AGR demands by DoT already in public domain: Salve

    Senior advocate Harish Salve said AGR demands by DoT already in the public domain.

    16:06 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Bharti Airtel stock jumps over 1%

    Bharti Airtel share price ended at Rs 527.20 apiece, up 1.38 per cent on BSE in Monday's session. The stock quoted day's high of Rs 532.30 and low of  Rs 508.50 per share.

    15:55 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    When telco participates in auction, some amount is to be paid at threshold: DoT

    DoT said telcos supposed to make two payments. When a telco participates in an auction, some amount is to be paid at the threshold. The remaining amount is to be paid in instalments over 15 years.

    15:54 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Guidelines protect us, these dues were known: Sibal

    "Guidelines protect us, these dues were known," said senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel.

    15:53 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    DoT should have raised the demand: SC

    The Supreme Court said as per senior advocate Kapil Sibal no demand has been raised. DoT should have raised the demand. 

    15:53 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Why no demand was raised on Videocon: SC to SG

    Supreme Court asked SG why no demand was raised on Videocon. SG replied that it is in the process. 

    15:48 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SG gives details of what all comprise of AGR

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta gave details of what all comprise of AGR

    15:42 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Under trading guidelines all past dues should be cleared prior to spectrum trading: SG

    SG says under trading guidelines all past dues should be cleared prior to spectrum trading. DoT can seek to recover dues from seller and buyers, jointly or severally.

    15:36 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SG takes the court through trading guidelines

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta takes the court through trading guidelines

    15:28 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SC asks about sharing guidelines, payments

    The Supreme Court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about sharing guidelines and payments.

    15:27 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SG Tushar Mehta starts arguments

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta started his argument.

    15:26 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    There is no issue, it has nothing to do with me: Sibal

    Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel said "there is no issue. It has nothing to do with me".

    15:24 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    What will be the past liability?: Justice MR Shah

    Justice MR Shah asked "What will be the past liability? From 2016-2019, there can be no demand on Videocon. Did you pay the arrears as per our Oct 23 AGR judgment?.

    15:23 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    At no stage, dues were owed by me: Sibal

    "At no stage, dues were owed by me," senior advocate Kapil Sibal said. 

    15:19 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Bharti Airtel paid the entire price upfront: Kapil Sibal

    "Bharti Airtel paid the entire price upfront, purchased it in the auction. No claim against Airtel, no demand raised by DoT. It was raised in Videocon," senior advocate Kapil Sibal said. 

    15:18 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Kapil Sibal for Airtel starts arguments

    Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Bharti Airtel started his argument.

    15:17 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    It's fait accompli that IBC already on since 3 years: Ranjit Kumar

    Ranjit Kumar said, "It's fait accompli that IBC already on for 3 years. Value of spectrum will diminish, banks won't lend if spectrum not allowed as security".

    15:03 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    If spectrum is subject to resolution process, govt dues will wipe out: SC

    The Supreme Court said if the spectrum is subject to resolution process, govt dues gets wiped out. Other people will use it free of all encumbrances. Then there is no liability to pay the govt dues. In the auction, some money will come.

    14:59 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    SC should not decide on commercial decision of DoT what it ought to do or not: Ranjit Kumar

    Ranjit Kumar said Supreme Court should not decide on the commercial decision of DoT what it ought to do or not.

    14:51 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    No additional demand raised by DoT against Reliance Jio, RCom: Salve

    Salve said no additional demand has been raised by the DoT against Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications. No AGR dues are attributable to the small fraction of total RCom spectrum sold.

    14:46 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Prior to 2016, there was no trading: Salve

    "Prior to 2016, there was no trading. Spectrum trading between RCom and RJio in 800 Mhz is a small part of the total spectrum owned by RCom. According to us, for this fractional trading, it was a surplus spectrum," Harish Salve said. 

    14:42 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Salve reads paragraphs from DoT's Aug 22 affidavit

    Harish Salve read paragraphs from the Department of Telecommunications' (DoT) affidavit filed on August 22.

    14:40 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Security can be contractual: Salve

    "Security can be contractual. The law recognises security interests," said Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance Jio. 

    14:40 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    We are not on who will get it or not? These are contractual rights: SC to Salve

    The Supreme Court said, "We are not on who will get it or not? These are contractual rights. We are not on your contract with the government", Justice Arun Mishra told Salve. Harish Salve said that these can be assigned.

    14:38 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    If it is cancelled, govt, banks will not get anything: Salve

    Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance Jio, said if it is cancelled, the government will not get anything and even banks would get nothing. 

    14:37 (IST)24 Aug 2020
    Where is right to use when there are arrears: Justice Mishra

    "Where is right to use when there are arrears?" asked Justice Arun Mishra.

    Next Stories
    1Steel ministry moots Rs 3,346-crore aid to up domestic output
    2International arbitration: Vodafone wins Rs 22,000-crore retrospective case against tax department
    3AccuWeather joins HERE to increase distribution and reach new segments