The Supreme Court Thursday termed as ‘totally impermissible’ the demand by Department of Telecom for dues of Rs 4 lakh crore in Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) from PSUs and said DoT must consider withdrawing it.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah raised questions on the demand raised by the government from the PSUs and said that its verdict in the case was misinterpreted as the issue of their dues based on AGR was not dealt with by the apex court.
“This is wholly and totally impermissible,” the bench said, while referring to the demand raised against the PSUs.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for DoT told the bench that it would the file the affidavit explaining as to why the AGR demands were raised against the PSUs.
The bench also asked private telecom operators to file affidavits giving details as to how they will pay the AGR dues.
On May 18, the top court had lashed out at Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other mobile phone operators for self-assessing their outstanding telecom dues, saying they need to pay past dues with interest and penalty — an estimated amount of Rs 1.6 lakh crore.
The apex court had also came down heavily on the DoT for allowing companies to re-assess what they owed to the government, and said its order — passed on October 24, 2019 — on revenues for calculating dues was final.
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