SC verdict on dues: Telcos, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, seek open court hearing of review pleas

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Published: January 9, 2020 2:10:45 AM

Bharti Airtel, along with its limited review petition, has also filed a supplementary petition urging the apex court to empower DoT to engage with the operators to discuss timelines and quantum of payment etc.

Of the total licence fee dues demand of Rs 21,682 crore raised on Bharti Airtel, interest, penalty and interest on penalty comprises Rs 16,152 crore.Of the total licence fee dues demand of Rs 21,682 crore raised on Bharti Airtel, interest, penalty and interest on penalty comprises Rs 16,152 crore.

Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, on Wednesday sought an open court hearing of their petitions seeking review of a Supreme Court judgment on recovery of past dues amounting to Rs 1.47 lakh crore, which the companies are required to pay by January 24.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi sought open court hearing before a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra, who said he would give the date for hearing on Thursday after consulting Chief Justice SA Bobde.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices had in November separately moved the Supreme Court seeking a limited review of its October 24 order, which asked the companies to pay licence fee and spectrum usage charges on their overall revenues — those accruing even from streams which are not part of telecom licence — within three months.

The companies through their separate petitions have sought waiver of interest, penalty and interest on penalty. Of the total Rs 1.47 lakh crore of dues which the companies are required to pay within January 24 as a result of the apex court’s order, nearly 75% comprises interest, penalty and interest on penalty. The operators have urged for the waiver keeping in context the overall financial hardship being faced by the industry.

Bharti Airtel, along with its limited review petition, has also filed a supplementary petition urging the apex court to empower DoT to engage with the operators to discuss timelines and quantum of payment etc.

Of the overall Rs 1.47 lakh crore, the licence fee dues stand at Rs 92,642 crore while SUC is at Rs 55,054 crore. The bulk of the dues are payable by Vodafone Idea at Rs 53,039 crore, while Bharti Airtel needs to pay Rs 35,586 crore.

Of the total licence fee dues demand of Rs 21,682 crore raised on Bharti Airtel, interest, penalty and interest on penalty comprises Rs 16,152 crore.

Similarly for Vodafone Idea, of the total licence fee due raised of Rs 28,309 crore, Rs 21,435 crore is on account of interest, penalty and interest on penalty.

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