The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reportedly withdrawn its order that directed its circle heads to not take any coercive action against the telecom operators that defaulted on payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues.

DoT’s decision to withdraw its order has come in the backdrop of the recent criticism that it received from the Supreme Court for not initiating any action against the telecom companies on failing to repay AGR dues by January 24, 2020 deadline prescribed by the apex court.

The Supreme Court has ordered the initiation of contempt proceedings against telecom companies for violating the apex court’s order on payment of AGR related dues. The Court took a strong objection to the fact that despite the expiring of the due date of January 24, 2020 for making payments, none of the operators have paid any amount till date.

Petitions filed by telecom companies were heard by a bench of justices comprising Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah.

The top court will next hear the case on March 17, 2020. It has summoned MD of all telcos including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and others to explain why these dues were not deposited despite orders and why contempt action must not be taken against them for non-compliance of order.