Monday, 27 Jan 2020

SC to consider in-chamber review pleas on AGR verdict

New Delhi, Jan 15 : The Supreme Court will on Thursday take up in-chambers the petitions seeking review of its verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), which allowed Centre's plea to recover Rs 92,000 crore from telecom companies.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices S.A. Nazeer and M.R. Shah will consider the review petitions of the telecom operators, though, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel had sought an open court hearing on their pleas.

The review petitions were mentioned before Justice Arun Mishra after the court reopened after vacations. Justice Mishra had said he would speak with the Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on the matter.

In the in-chamber review, the petitions are circulated among the judges on the bench and there is no lawyer to argue the matter.

Telecom firms are supposed to pay Rs 92,000 crore in dues by January 23 following the court order in October last year.

The Supreme Court had ordered telecom firms, including Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd., to pay the government as much as Rs 92,000 crore ($13 billion) in dues, which include penalties and interest.

In the verdict, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had said telcom companies will have to shell out the dues. The Department of Telecom's (DoT) total demand is estimated around Rs 92,000 crore.

"We allow the appeals of the DoT... The gross revenue will prevail as defined as gross revenue", said the court citing no further exercise should take place in connection with the re-calculations regarding the dues.

The top court specified that there should not be any further litigation on the matter. The apex court also passed a separate order on the specific time frame for the telecom companies to pay their dues.