Supreme Court AGR dues hearing Highlights: Supreme Court reserved its order on the timeline of payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telecom companies. The next hearing will be held on August 10 on the issue of companies which have gone into liquidation. Supreme Court said that it has heard parties on liability and timeframe for making the payment. During the AGR case hearing in Supreme Court, Justice Arun Mishra said, “You all are wasting your and our time and energy, what kind of exercise you people are doing. Why you people are arguing for this now? We will impose exemplary costs on telecom companies.” Mukul Rohtagi who represented Vodafone idea pleaded the court with folded hands and said, “Please give 15 years to pay the rest of the amount.” Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel scaled down their demand from 20-year timeline to 15 years. The hearing was scheduled to start at 2 PM, but it was delayed. A three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah heard the case. The Supreme Court in its last hearing held on June 18, asked the telecom companies to make a minimum payment to show bonafides, provide a roadmap of payments (payment plan) if allowed to stagger payments and provide books of accounts for the last decade for assessment.
As per the Department of Telecommunications, out of Bharti Airtel’s nearly Rs 43,000 crore total dues, the company has paid nearly Rs 18,000 crore. On the other hand, along with the Rs 1,000 crore payment made on Saturday and Rs 6,854 crore in last three tranches, Vodafone Idea has paid a total of Rs 7,854 crore to DoT towards the AGR dues, against its total AGR dues of around Rs 58,000 crore. Total AGR dues for Tata Teleservices, as per the DoT, stands at Rs 16,789 crore. Out of which the company has Rs 4,197 crore so far. As the DoT estimates, telcos owe a total of Rs 1.19 lakh crore, of which it has received Rs 26,896 crore so far. Currently, the balance stands at Rs 92,520 crore.