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Supreme Court to hear AGR dues case on July 19

The Supreme Court will hear the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case on 19 July, according to reports. In September last year, the apex court had ordered the telecom companies to pay their dues. It had granted 10 years to telecom firms such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices for paying the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with certain conditions.

The SC had asked telcos to pay 10 per cent of the dues by March 31, 2021.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had held that the demand made by the DoT and the verdict delivered by the SC were final. The bench had asked the Managing Directors (MDs) or Chief Executive Officer (CEOs) of the telcos concerned to furnish undertaking or personal guarantee for payment of dues.

Failure to pay the instalments of the dues would incur penalty, interest and contempt of court, the bench had cautioned the telecom firms. The SC had said that that issue of sale of spectrum by telcos facing insolvency proceedings would be decided by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

In January this year, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd had moved the apex court seeking directions to the DoT to recalculate AGR dues, citing “mathematical errors” in calculation of the outstanding amo by the department.

In October 2019, the SC had upheld the department’s definition of AGR and ordered telcos to pay levies based on that definition, along with interest on the principal amount and penalty.

However, the telcos and DoT had sought 20 years to make annual payments of dues, but the top court allowed 10 years for staggered payment.

The court directed telcos to make 10 per cent upfront payment of their dues, with a 10-year payment schedule, beginning 1 April, 2021. The annual instalments have to be paid by 7 February every year, the court had said. Livemint

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