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Home » IANS » Centre backs 20-yr time to clear AGR dues, SC reserves order

Centre backs 20-yr time to clear AGR dues, SC reserves order

By IANS
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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said that several telcom companies, which have adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of nearly Rs 39,000 crore, are currently under liquidation and it is essential for the court to go into bonafides of the decision to invoke insolvency.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Let all records of Reliance Communications, Videocon, Aircel to be submitted within 7 days.”

The apex court noted that an attempt was made to wriggle out of the Supreme Court verdict in the AGR case under the guise of recalculation or reassessment. “Not permissible… there can be no going back on AGR dues. Calculation that has been given by DOT is to be treated as final”, said the bench.

The apex court reserved its judgement on the time period for the payment of AGR dues. Both, Airtel and Vodafone Idea have sought 15 years to clear AGR dues.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the Centre said the government is fine with 20-year payment formula to clear AGR dues. Mehta contended before the apex court that the Centre is of the view that if extension is not given, insolvencies that the top court fears might begin to happen tomorrow.

“Spectrum itself acts as a security for ensuring payment of AGR dues”, Mehta contended before the bench.

Mehta submitted before the bench that the Cabinet considered the issue and decided on 20 year period. The government has provided this relief due to cascading effect on economy, Mehta added.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Vodafone Idea accepted demand of Rs 58,000 crore AGR dues, and insisted that only way to pay and honour the top court judgment is to allow Vodafone a 20-year payment period. Later, during the hearing Vodafone agreed to 15-year time period.

–IANS

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