Supreme Court on Monday rejected telecom giant Vodafone Idea’s proposal to pay Rs 2,500 crore by today and Rs 1,000 crore by Friday against Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues and refusing its plea that no coercive action be taken against it.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra declined to accept the proposal given by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Vodafone, after he mentioned the matter.
Rohatgi said that Vodafone Idea is willing to pay Rs 2,500 crore today and another Rs 1,000 crore by Friday but no coercive action be taken against the company.
He requested the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone Idea should also not be encashed.
The top court last week directed the managing directors and directors of telcos and other firms to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the DoT.
After facing the ire of the apex court, Bharti Airtel on Monday rushed to make part payments. It paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department towards statutory dues on Monday and promised to make the balanced payment in next few days after a self-assessment exercise. However, it had earlier said that it will pay Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications by February 20 and the remaining before March 17.
Vodafone Idea Ltd is confronted with the dues worth Rs 53,000 crore – its liabilities add up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.
While the two telecom giants struggle to pay their AGR dues, their competitor Reliance Jio is the only company that has successfully paid its dues worth Rs 195 crore.
(With input from agencies)