The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed telecom companies, including Airtel Bharti and Vodafone Idea, a period of 10 years to clear their pending Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues to the Central government.
The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah passed the order through video conferencing and said there would be no re-assesment of the dues. The first 10% dues should be paid by March 31, 2021. It was made clear that interest would accrue in case of default on payment of annual instalments, and that the same may also invite contempt of court.
The SC bench further asked the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to decide on spectrum trading as part of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
The top court had, on July 20, reserved its order on the timeline for the payment of AGR dues by telecom companies after observing that the request of telecom companies seeking 15 to 20 years for the payment of AGR dues in a staggered manner was unreasonable.
In October 2019, the Supreme Court had delivered the verdict on the AGR issue for calculating government dues of telecom companies, such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices, as licence fee and spectrum usage charges.