The Supreme Court docket Tuesday directed DoT to not invoke the financial institution ensures (BGs) of Bharti Airtel for 3 weeks for recovering Rs 1,376 crore in AGR-related dues of Videocon Telecom Ltd (VTL) which had offered its spectrum to the Bharti group. The highest court docket, which refused to entertain Airtel’s plea that VTL dues should not payable by it, permitted the telecom main to method the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) with the grievances.
“The DoT shall not invoke the financial institution assure of Respondent…(Bharti Airtel) for the interval of three weeks from at this time,” a bench comprising justices L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah stated in its order.
On the outset, the bench made clear to senior advocate Shyam Divan, showing for Airtel, that it’s going to not intervene with the sooner judgement. “We’re making it very clear that we’ll not intervene with the judgement and we will provide you with the freedom to withdraw to method the suitable discussion board,” the bench stated.
It additionally famous the submissions of Solicitor Basic Tushar Mehta, showing for the Division of Telecom, that DoT will probably be permitted to lift all of the grounds together with the objection to the jurisdiction, if any, earlier than the discussion board to be chosen Airtel.
Airtel stated a DoT communication of August 17 has directed it to pay AGR associated dues of VTL inside every week, failing which the BGs. Divan referred to varied paperwork together with the spectrum buying and selling tips and stated that the dues — arising from the Adjusted Gross Income or AGR of VTL, the vendor of the spectrum — had been identified on the time of the sale and therefore the vendor and never the client could be fixed with the legal responsibility to pay.
VTL had offered its spectrum to Bharti Airtel in pursuance of agreements entered into them in 2016. The Bharti group has already paid Rs 18,004 crore in AGR-related dues to DoT by March 31, 2021 which is way more than 10 per cent of its whole AGR dues of over Rs 43,000 crore, he stated.
In its September final yr order, the highest court docket had stated that telecom operators shall make the cost of 10 per cent of the full dues as demanded by the DoT by March 31, 2021 and the remainder be paid in yearly instalments from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2031.
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