Supreme Court: Telecom Service Providers To Provide Undertaking and Financial Documents

Must Read

Benefit of Probation Not Excluded by the Provisions of Mandatory Minimum Sentence Under Section 397 of Ipc

This case concerns the dispute regarding the granting of probation on good conduct to the accused under the age...

Supreme Court Asks for the Centre’s Response on PIL Filed Seeking the Formation of a Media Tribunal

The Supreme Court sought responses from the Press Council of India (PCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on a PIL which sought to set up a media tribunal to tackle issues concerning the media like complaints against media, channels, and networks. Media has become like an unruly horse that has to be tamed to express the plea.

Law Student Asked the Supreme Court To Take Suo Moto Cognizance of the Violent Farmer Protests

A law student of Mumbai University, Ashish Rai has asked the Supreme Court to take Suo Moto Cognizance of the insult to the national flag done by the farmer protests at the Red Fort. In the course of the farmer's tractor rally on Tuesday, some of the protesters unfurled their own flags by entering the premises of the Red Fort.

Farmers Meeting With the Supreme Court Committee Postponed To Jan 29 Due To the Traffic Restrictions

Due to the traffic restrictions after the violent protests broke out on Republic Day, the meeting of farmers with the Supreme Court Committee that was supposed to take place today was postponed to 29th January.

Supreme Court Stays Bombay HC Judgment which said Groping without Skin Contact Not Sexual Assault under POCSO

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has challenged the Bombay High Court judgment where it stated that groping a child’s breasts without any ‘skin-to-skin’ contact will not be considered as sexual assault as defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Supreme Court Classifying Employees Based on Educational Qualifications for Promotion or Appointment Is Neither Violative of Article 14 nor of Article 16

This case concerns the dispute relating to the classification of employees belonging to the homogenous group based on educational...

Follow us

On 18.06.2020, a Full Bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice M.R Shah presided for hearing the litigation of the AGR case. A batch of seven connected petitions were filed, collectively referred as In Re Mandar Deshpande.

Background

The Court on 11.06.2020 gave an order and clarified that their 2019 judgement did not address the Public Sector Undertakings (“PSUs”) for the Aggregated Gross Revenue (“AGR”) dues. It asked the Department of Telecom (“DoT”) to consider withdrawing such demands raised.

The Court had adjourned further hearing to June 18 to decide whether to allow Telecom Service Providers (“TSPs”) to make staggered payment for their AGR dues pending.

Arguments by the DoT

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that they have acted according to the Court’s guidelines in the previous order. He stated that a decision has been taken to withdraw the demand of dues from PSUs. This is since the PSUs are not in the business of providing telecom services to the general public.

He further stated that the TSPs have given respective affidavits on securities that they can provide as guarantee. This can be considered for the grant of a staggered payment over an extended duration or timeline.

Arguments by Airtel 

Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Airtel. He submitted that the company has paid approximately Rs 18,000 crore. And having fully complied with the DoT’s demand, only Rs 1,000 crore is pending to be deposited. He went on to state that Airtel’s payment constitutes 70% of the total amount collected so far, by DoT.

He also assured that its licenses and bank guarantees are far in excess of the demands made. And that the company has a spectrum of Rs 1.12 lakh crores. As Bank Guarantees of Rs 10,800 crore is pending with the DOT, they can be liquidated if the company defaults on payments.

Arguments by Vodafone-Idea 

Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Vodafone-Idea. He submitted that the company was going through an uncertain phase. Further, the parent company has losses are over 1 lakh guarantees. And owing this position, it cannot provide any fresh bank guarantees to the DoT. He stated that over Rs 10,000 crore of its bank guarantees are existing with the DOT. This can be considered as security for the dues. Taking into account their unstable condition, the only way to pay the AGR dues is through payments over 20 years in installments.

Further, he stated that assets worth Rs 42,000cr have been charged as securities, to secure borrowing of over Rs 1 lakh crores. And as the claimed dues are over Rs 50,000 cr, it would not be possible to ask independent directors to furnish personal guarantees.

Observations by the Court

The Bench asserted that there requires mutual trust for such a payment involving huge numbers. A situation of a foreign company terminating business while leaving behind the assets, cannot be ignored.

It directed Vodafone-Idea to show bonafide proof to avail the benefit of staggered payments. For the purpose, a reasonable amount needs to be deposited as down payment.

The bench stated that it cannot pass orders to allow the dues to be staggered for period of 20 years without a guarantee amount.Union of India v. Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India

Present order

The Court through the order directed TSPs to provide an undertaking and submit their financial documents. It also directed the DoT to consider the proposals made by the TSPs on making payment of the AGR dues. This was to be done before the next date of hearing.

The next hearing was hence, deferred to the end of third week of July.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Benefit of Probation Not Excluded by the Provisions of Mandatory Minimum Sentence Under Section 397 of Ipc

This case concerns the dispute regarding the granting of probation on good conduct to the accused under the age of twenty-one years.   Brief facts of...

Supreme Court Asks for the Centre’s Response on PIL Filed Seeking the Formation of a Media Tribunal

The Supreme Court sought responses from the Press Council of India (PCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on a PIL which sought to set up a media tribunal to tackle issues concerning the media like complaints against media, channels, and networks. Media has become like an unruly horse that has to be tamed to express the plea.

Law Student Asked the Supreme Court To Take Suo Moto Cognizance of the Violent Farmer Protests

A law student of Mumbai University, Ashish Rai has asked the Supreme Court to take Suo Moto Cognizance of the insult to the national flag done by the farmer protests at the Red Fort. In the course of the farmer's tractor rally on Tuesday, some of the protesters unfurled their own flags by entering the premises of the Red Fort.

Farmers Meeting With the Supreme Court Committee Postponed To Jan 29 Due To the Traffic Restrictions

Due to the traffic restrictions after the violent protests broke out on Republic Day, the meeting of farmers with the Supreme Court Committee that was supposed to take place today was postponed to 29th January.

Supreme Court Stays Bombay HC Judgment which said Groping without Skin Contact Not Sexual Assault under POCSO

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has challenged the Bombay High Court judgment where it stated that groping a child’s breasts without any ‘skin-to-skin’ contact will not be considered as sexual assault as defined under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Supreme Court Classifying Employees Based on Educational Qualifications for Promotion or Appointment Is Neither Violative of Article 14 nor of Article 16

This case concerns the dispute relating to the classification of employees belonging to the homogenous group based on educational qualifications. Brief facts of the case The...

Supreme Court Refuses To Transfer Petitions To Itself Related To ‘Love Jihad’ Filed in Allahabad High Court

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to entertain the plea which was filed by the UP Government regarding the transfer of all the pleas challenging the ordinance the court passed, from Allahabad High Court to the Supreme Court.

Bombay HC Nagpur Bench Holds That Groping a Girl Without ‘Skin To Skin’ Contact Is Not Sexual Assault

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court acquitted a man charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and convicted him of a minor offence under IPC stating that there was no direct physical contact.

Delhi High Court Restrains Publication of Book on “the Ryan School Murder”

The Order had come in an injunction application filed by the St. Xavier's Education Trust in Delhi. The Plaintiff sought ad-interim restraining order on...

Supreme Court Closed Proceeding in Case of “in Re: Advocate on Record Includes a Proprietary Firm Etc.”

Brief facts of the case Emails from the Petitioner resulted in an administrative decision. An Order of the Supreme Court has drawn up the issue...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -