Supreme Court in its latest judgment held that the telecom companies who are liable to pay AGR dues shall make the required payment of 10% of the dues by March 31, 2021. Justice Arun Mishra rejected the plea of Department of Telecommunication seeking payments by telecom companies in a staggered fashion spanning over 20 years and instead allowed the telecoms to make payments in a period spanning 10 years.
The court laid down the direction of the payment for the said amount
- With respect to AGR dues, there shall not be any reassessment.
- Telecoms have to make payments in yearly installments commencing from 1st April 2021 up to 31st March 2031.
- Adjusting bank guarantees to be kept alive by telecoms until payments have been made.
It was further held by the court that “in case of any default in making payment of annual installments, interest would be payable as per agreement along with the penalty and interest and would be punishable by contempt of court”.
Justice Mishra has stated that it has asked the NCLT to decide it in the issue of whether spectrum can be a subject matter of resolution process.
Earlier this year, the SC had directed telecom companies to submit their financial documents while considering the instant plea by the department of telecommunications to allow settling the AGR-related dues in a staggered fashion over 20 years.
But in March, the SC lashed out at the Centre and telecom companies for doing self-assessment or reassessment of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues fixed by the apex court in its verdict.
In April, the SC had rejected pleas by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices seeking a review of the October 24 verdict that widened the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).