On 20 July, a three-judge bench of SC had reserved its order on the timeline for staggered payment of dues
The Supreme Court (SC) will announce its verdict on Tuesday regarding the key issue of payment of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) by telecom companies. The Arun Mishra-led bench will pronounce its verdict at 11:30 am on September 1, as per the roster on the court’s website, laying down the timeframe for telecom companies to clear their dues.
During the hearings, the court was told by Tata Telecom that a window of at least 7-10 years would be required for payment of dues, while Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel suggested payment over the course of 15 years. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), however, stuck to the Union Cabinet’s proposal of payment within 20 years.
On July 20, the three-judge bench had reserved its order on the timeline for staggered payment of dues and took up the issue of spectrum licences held by the companies.
The top court is also likely to decide on whether spectrum can be sold under insolvency proceedings, a matter crucial for companies such as Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications.
The court completed hearing the case on August 24 after the DoT file a detailed affidavit on the issue of dues to be paid by companies using shared spectrum.
In a major setback to telecom companies, the Supreme Court had in October last year, rejected the appeal filed by the telecom companies against the Centre’s definition of AGR and upheld the Central government’s plea on the estimation of AGR dues at around ₹ 92,000 crore.