Vi moves apex court seeking correction in DoT’s maths

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January 8, 2021 2:45 AM

A day after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea also moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its order so that the department of telecommunications (DoT) can consider its submissions regarding arithmetical errors in the calculations regarding its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

The DoT has estimated that the AGR dues of Vodafone Idea is Rs 58,254 crore while the company's own assessment so far is of Rs 21,533 crore.

A day after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea also moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its order so that the department of telecommunications (DoT) can consider its submissions regarding arithmetical errors in the calculations regarding its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. The company has stated in its petition that the calculations made by DoT had errors like double counting, not considering payments already made, not adjusting for interconnect payments, etc. It said that the excess demand due to these errors is to the tune of Rs 5,932 crore of principal amount, which would have an overall impact of over four times on the total principal amount due to imposition of interest, penalty and interest on penalty.

Vodafone has said that despite its requests to the DoT to correct the mistakes, the latter has not done it thus causing prejudice to it. The company has made it clear in its petition that it is not seeking any reassessment of the calculations, something which the SC order has barred, or raising any dispute, but only seeking correction in these arithmetical errors. The petition of Bharti Airtel filed a day earlier is also on similar grounds.

The DoT has estimated that the AGR dues of Vodafone Idea is Rs 58,254 crore while the company’s own assessment so far is of Rs 21,533 crore. In the case of Bharti Airtel also while the DoT’s estimate is of Rs 43,980 crore, Bharti’s own estimate is of Rs 13,004 crore. In its plea submitted through counsel Mahesh Agarwal, Vodafone Idea has elaborated that errors have crept in as the DoT has not accounted/adjusted payments made by it to the tune of Rs 242.19 crore while issuing the demands and also deduction has not been given on PSTN related call charges (access charges) and of roaming charges actually paid to other operators (resulting in a higher demand of Rs 4,723 crore), besides there being double counting of some revenue items amounting to Rs 966 crore.

In some cases, DoT has failed to give credit for the payments made through demand drafts/bank remittance towards licence fee, it has said. “In many cases, they are in the nature of pure calculation errors. The correction sought are not disputes but only correction of manifest errors in the earlier demands, which can be easily checked by DoT and given effect after a simple process of verification. They do not involve any question of law or interpretation of the definition of AGR and are matters that are independent of October 24, 2019 judgment,” the company has said.
“The court be pleased to modify its direction at para 38(i) of the judgment and allow the applicant to seek the correction of manifest/clerical/arithmetic errors apparent on record of the demands preliminary assessed by DoT,” it has stated.

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