The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on the plea to allow telecom companies (telcos) a 20-year window for paying adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues totalling an approximate Rs 1.5 lakh crore, and made it clear that it was not going to reopen the issue of calculation of the dues.
“Everybody is disputing the dues. Tell us only the instalment part and the time (for paying the dues) … What is happening in this country! We will not permit this to happen … We have decided the definition of AGR and based on that, demands have been raised by the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) and we are not going to reopen this”, Justice Arun Mishra, heading a three-judge Bench, remarked, as a counsel for one of the telcos sought to dispute the figures.
The Bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah, did not mince words and said, “We will not hear arguments for re-assessment (of AGR related dues) even for a second”.
The Bench also did not seem to be in favour of allowing such an extended time period for paying the dues as it observed that the 20-year period — as suggested by the government — or 15 years – as proposed by Vodafone Idea Monday — for the payment is not reasonable and asked the companies to come up with an appropriate timeline.
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