SC reserves verdict on time frame for staggered payment of telcos AGR dues

The top court said it would also examine the bona fides of some telecom companies going into insolvency
The Supreme Court Monday said it will not hear "even for a second" arguments on re-assessment of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) related dues of telecom companies which approximately run into Rs 1.6 trillion.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah reserved its verdict on the issue of timeline for staggered payment of AGR-related dues by telecom companies.

The Centre had earlier urged the top court that up to 20 years be given to telecom companies for the payment of dues in staggered manner.

We will not hear arguments for re-assessment (of AGR related dues) even for a second, the bench said.

During the hearing, the bench observed that 15 or 20 years is not a reasonable time period and the companies should come forward with appropriate time frame.

The top court said it would also examine the bona fides of some telecom companies going into insolvency.

On June 18, the top court was informed by the Centre that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to withdraw 96 per cent of the Rs 4 trillion demand for AGR related dues raised against non-telecom PSUs like GAIL.

The court had asked the private telecom companies including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea to come out with a reasonable payment plan, make some payment to show their bona fide and file their books of accounts for the last 10 years.


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