The Supreme Court (SC) has directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to complete the assessment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues resulting from spectrum trading between telecom operators and raise demands within the next six weeks.

To this end, SC directed DoT to examine the correctness of self-assessment and raise demand, if necessary, after due verification. With this, DoT will now check if Reliance Jio and Airtel have pending AGR dues from their spectrum trading deals.

According to the orders, the liability cannot be escaped as specified in the trading guidelines to the extent that the seller or buyer is liable. The purchasers who are not seller or buyer, shall have to pay the dues to the extent they are liable under the guidelines.

The SC’s order has put the spotlight on trading deals that Bharti Airtel had struck with Videocon and Aircel and Reliance Jio with Reliance Communications (RCOM). However, the court has not held the existing telcos liable for AGR dues of the three ailing telcos for using their spectrum due to sharing agreements.