The Supreme Court has rejected Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices Limited’s plea to review its verdict related to the adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The three telcos would now have to collectively pay over a whopping Rs 1.02 trillion in additional licence fees, spectrum usage charge (SUC), penalties and interest within a week’s time.
Earlier, in November 2019, the telcos had sought a limited review of the AGR ruling in hopes of softening the AGR blow and had not challenged the entire Supreme Court order or sought an extension of the payment deadline.
The plea was rejected by a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S.A. Abdul Nazeer and M.R. Shah.
The three telcos had filed separate petitions in the court, seeking a review of penalties and interest on the dues, and had questioned some components of non-core items that the court had stated should be included while computing telcos’ AGR.
Vodafone Idea and Airtel are the worst hit by the apex court’s order, facing statutory dues of Rs 530.39 billion and Rs 355.86 billion respectively, which they need to pay up by January 23, 2020. Meanwhile, Tata Teleservices Limited, which sold its consumer mobility business to Airtel, faces dues of Rs 138.23 billion.
In all, some 15 telcos need to pay over Rs 1.47 trillion to the government.