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SC rejects Vodafone Idea’s proposal to pay Rs 2,500 crore; no relief for teleco on pending AGR dues

FE Online

The Supreme Court has rejected Vodafone Idea's proposal to pay part of its adjusted gross revenue dues today and has also declined its request that no coercive action be taken against the telecom operator, according to news agency PTI. Vodafone Idea had urged the Supreme Court on Monday saying that it was ready to pay Rs 2,500 crore today and an additional Rs 1,000 crore by Friday requesting that no action be taken against the firm. Vodafone Idea owes the government Rs 53,000 crores in AGR dues. This comes after the apex court on friday, asked the telecom companies to pay their AGR dues and took strong note of their non-payment even after an order was passed by the court.

Appearing for Vodafone Idea, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi pleaded the case in front of a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The Supreme Court also said that the bank guarantee deposited by the telecom operator be encashed.

After the Supreme Court hearing on Friday, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had issued a notice asking telecom operators to clear their dues by Friday midnight, a deadline they failed to meet. Bharti Airtel the other teleco deposited Rs 10,000 crore with the DoT as part payment of its AGR dues. Bharti Airtel owes Rs 35,000 crore in AGR dues. The Apex court on Friday chided the telecom companies for not paying their AGR dues even after an order was passed by the court in January. The court asked senior management of telecom operators to be present on the day of the next hearing to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

Vodafone Idea share price surged 18 per cent on Monday morning after the company on Saturday informed the stock exchange that it is assessing the amount that can be paid to the DoT towards the dues calculated based on AGR. The company proposed to pay the amount so assessed in the next few days. Vodafone Idea was trading at Rs 3.60 apiece on NSE at 1 PM.