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SC reserves order on timeline for compensation of AGR dues by telcos

The Supreme Court on Monday concluded hearings on a authorities plea that sought to supply India’s struggling telecom operators, dealing with calls for for billions of {dollars} in dues, some reduction by means of a staggered fee schedule.

Vodafone Idea Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd have requested for a 15-year window to clear the dues, whereas Tata Teleservices Ltd has sought 7-10 years. A authorities plea that sought the court docket’s approval to permit telcos affected by its October 24 ruling a 20-year interval to clear ₹1.47 lakh crore in dues was rejected earlier.

The court docket reiterated that telcos need to abide by the ruling on the quantum of their dues, as was calculated by the division of telecommunications (DoT), and there may be “no room for self-assessment”. The court docket additionally directed DoT to submit insolvency proceedings particulars of Reliance Communications (RCom), Aircel and Videocon Telecom inside seven days. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra mentioned RCom has enormous unpaid AGR dues, and the highest court docket will look at whether or not the insolvency proceedings are bona fide. The court docket will take up the matter on insolvency proceedings on August 10. “Several telcos with AGR dues of over ₹38,000 crore are currently in liquidation. Need to ensure Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is not being misused by telcos to escape liabilities,” mentioned justice Mishra.

Expressing doubt over Vodafone Idea’s capability to clear the dues, the court docket requested the way it can “rely” on the corporate’s assurances, given its monetary place. The telco is now in search of 15 years to pay dues price ₹58,254 crore, versus 20 years earlier.

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