“We will study the ruling as soon as it is available, along with our legal advisers, to determine next steps. If there are technical or procedural grounds for doing so, this could include a Review Application”, a Vodafone-Idea spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added Vodafone-Idea is extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court judgment on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case.
The matter is 14 years old and pertains to the issue of whether revenue from other non-telecom-related activities should be included in the AGR definition under the telecom licence conditions.
The matter has already been through several rounds of litigation, which have been largely in favour of the operators until now.
“Clearly this judgment has significant damaging implications for India’s telecom industry, which is already reeling under huge financial stress and is left with only four operators.
“Significant investment of several billion dollars has been made in creating world class networks. Today’s order has huge impact on two private operators while most of the other impacted operators have exited the sector.
“We urgently request that the government engage on this matter in order to find ways to mitigate the financial stress for the industry,” it said.
Earlier Airtel said government must review the impact of this decision as the telcos have invested billions and currently facing severe financial pressure.
“The Government must review the impact of this decision and find suitable ways to mitigate the financial burden on the already stressed industry. We will be able to comment further only after reviewing the order in detail,” Airtel spokesperson said.
“We are disappointed by the verdict of the Supreme Court. The definition of AGR has been a long standing dispute between the DoT and the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) dating to 2005. The issue of inclusion of revenue from non-telecom activities and interpretation of the heads included in the definition of AGR under the license conditions has been through several rounds of litigation, which have been in favour of the TSPs till now.
“The telecom service providers have invested billions of dollars in developing the telecom sector and providing world-class services to consumers. This decision has come at a time when the sector is facing severe financial stress and may further weaken the viability of the sector as a whole. Of the 15 old operators impacted by the order, only two private sector operators remain in service today”, it said.