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AGR issue: Supreme Court comes down heavily on DoT, telcos

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on March 18, 2020 Published on March 18, 2020

Supreme Court of India   -  PTI

Says no self-assessment can be done

The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday came down heavily on the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and said that it will not 'tolerate' such behaviour from both the Department and telcos for not taking things seriously.

The AGR issue was heard by the bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice M.R. Shah.

The bench showed displeasure of the DoT and telcos, and said all dues including interest and penalties have to be paid, adding that the dues are already calculated so there is no need of self-assessment or calculation of dues again.

It asked the DoT also to withdraw allowing self-assessment of the dues by telcos, which DoT was preparing to ask the operators. "If reassessment is permitted it will be fraud on this Court," the Supreme Court said.

The Supreme Court said that it will not also tolerate any argument by companies or the DoT on this and if required, will summon officials at DoT responsible for self-assessment and MDs of all the telcos.

Out of the total demand of ₹1.47 lakh crore of AGR dues as per DoT’s estimates, the TSPs, till Monday, have paid only around ₹29,200 crore.

This includes Bharti Airtel’s ₹18,000 crore, Vodafone-Idea’s ₹6,854 crore, Tata Teleservices’ ₹4,197 crore and Reliance Jio’s ₹195 crore.

Bharti Airtel’s total dues are around ₹35,000 crore, Voda-Idea’s around ₹53,000 crore and TTSL’s about ₹13,800 crore, as per DoT’s assessment.

The Supreme Court will hear the AGR case after two weeks.

Published on March 18, 2020
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