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[AGR Dues] Timeframe to clear AGR dues by telecom companies laid down by Supreme Court

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India Union of India V. Association of United Telecom Service Providers of India (R), allowed the telecom companies to pay AGR dues within a period of 10 years and laid down a timeframe within which the companies have to pay the AGR dues.

The Three-Judge bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah issued directions in this regard,

“Resultantly, we issue following directions:

  1. That for the demand raised by the Department of Telecom in respect of the AGR dues based on the judgment of this Court, there shall not be any dispute raised by any of the Telecom Operators and that there shall not be any re­assessment.
  2. That, at the first   instance, the   respective   Telecom Operators shall make the payment of 10% of the total dues as demanded by DoT by 31.3.2021.
  3. TSPs. have to make payment in yearly instalments commencing from 1.4.2021   up   to   31.3.2031   payable   by   31st March   of   every succeeding financial year.
  4. Various companies   through   Managing   Director/Chairman   or other authorised officer, to furnish an undertaking within four weeks, to make payment of arrears as per the order.
  5. The existing   bank   guarantees   that   have   been   submitted regarding the spectrum shall be kept alive by TSPs. until the payment is made.
  6. In   the   event   of   any   default   in   making   payment   of   annual instalments, interest would   become   payable   as   per the   agreement along   with   penalty   and   interest   on   penalty   automatically   without reference to Court.  Besides, it would be punishable for contempt of Court.
  7. Let compliance of order be reported by all TSPs. and DoT every year by 7th April of each succeeding year.”

 

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India while examining whether spectrum can be sold or not observed that “We consider it appropriate that the aforesaid various questions should first be considered by the NCLT. Let the NCLT consider the aforesaid aspects and pass a reasoned order after hearing all the parties. We make it clear that it being a jurisdictional question, it requires to be gone into at this stage itself. Let the question be decided within the outer limits of two months.”

Click here to read Judgement

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