Sun, 01 Aug 2021

New Delhi [India], July 21 (ANI): The Supreme Court will on Thursday pronounce its interim judgement on the petitions of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea seeking direction for correction of errors in Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) calculation.

The Apex Court had on July 9, Monday, reserved its order on the pleas of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea.

A bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao will tomorrow pronounce the interim judgement.

The Supreme Court had heard the detailed arguments and submissions from all the respective telecom companies -- Bharti and Vodafone Idea on July 19.

The Supreme Court had in its last hearing had asked the Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to file a detailed response on the application filed by Vodafone Idea and Airtel.

Senior lawyer, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Vodafone Idea, had submitted to the Apex Court that the issue was going up and down as AGR definition was not clear.

"We had succeeded in TDSAT, but the judgment was set aside. Then we were imposed entire liability along with interest and penalty. There are dues around Rs 58,000 crores," Rohatgi said.

While trying to let the court understand how the entry was wrongly made Rohatgi cited an example and said that one of the entries, the actual payment made was Rs 155 crores, but DoT considered it as in final total is around Rs 153.2 crores.

"I have paid Rs 7,854 crore. I have complied with the undertaking to pay, which I have done," Rohatgi for Vodafone Idea had told the Apex Court.

"I am not blaming DoT, not asking for review. Not doing anything", Rohtagi had said.

The Supreme Court, while citing its earlier order, had asked Rohatgi and said that the reassessment and reevaluation can't be done, in this case, the earlier judgement says so.

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi senior lawyer for Airtel, had said that there is duplication. Several reports, audits and checks are reported. Purely by oversight, some payments/deductions are not taken into consideration by the DoT.

"We are not blaming the department, which has not been able to take any decision with respect to our three categories," Dr Singhvi had said, and made it clear to the Apex Court that "according to us, we have paid much more than 10 percent, around Rs 18,400 odd crores".

Dr Singhvi had said, "We are fully complying with the SC judgment. Now I don't want to pay thousands of crores due to these errors (of DOT)."The Supreme Court had in its judgement in September last year granted telecom companies including Airtel Bharti, Vodafone Idea, etc a period of 10 years to clear their pending AGR dues to the Central government.

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.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Central government through the DOT seeking the approval of a formula allowing telecom service providers to make annual installments of unpaid or remaining AGR dues in the next 15-20 years. (ANI)

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