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Company proposes to pay amount so assessed in next few days: Vodafone Idea on AGR dues

ANI | Updated: Feb 15, 2020 21:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 15 (ANI): A day after the Supreme Court heard a plea on the payment of dues under the adjusted gross revenue (AGR), Vodafone Idea on Saturday said it is currently assessing the amount that it will be able to pay to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
"Further to our communication dated January 21, 2020, with respect to the filing of an application for modification of the supplementary order of the Supreme Court dated October 24, 2019, we wish to inform that post the hearing yesterday, company has received letters from Department of Telecommunications (DoT) directing immediate payment," read a statement from the company.
"The company is currently assessing the amount that it will be able to pay to DoT towards the dues calculated based on AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue), as interpreted by the Supreme Court in its order dated October 24, 2019. The company proposes to pay the amount so assessed in the next few days," the statement added.
The statement further reads: "As disclosed in the company's financial statements for the quarter ending December 31, 2019, the company's ability to continue as a going concern is essentially dependent on a positive outcome of the application for modification of the supplementary order."
Meanwhile, talking about telecom companies' AGR dues, State Bank of India (SBI) chief Rajnish Kumar said: "I haven't heard any telecom company, saying that they are shutting down the business. The Supreme Court has ordered companies to pay the dues. It is now up to them how they comply. We are in a wait and watch mode."
The Supreme Court, while hearing a plea on payment of dues under the AGR case on Friday, observed how the telecom companies had violated its order "in pith and substance" and not paid the money to the Centre.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said: "This case projects a very disturbing scenario. The companies have violated the order passed by this court in pith and substance. In spite of the dismissal of the review application, they have not deposited any amount so far."
Justice Mishra, in his order, also made it clear that it appears that the way in which things are happening shows "scant respect to the directions issued by the top court."
"A desk officer of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has the temerity to pass the order to the effect of issuing a direction to the accountant general, another constitutional authority, not to insist for any payment pursuant to the order passed by this court and not to take any coercive steps till further orders," the court observed.
Warning the telecom companies of initiation of contempt proceedings against them and a desk officer of the DoT, the top court ruled, "This is nothing but a device to scuttle order of this court. This kind of order should not have been passed by the desk officer at all."
"In the circumstances, we draw contempt proceedings against the desk officer for passing the order and violating the order passed by this court," it added.
The telecom companies had appealed before the top court challenging its AGR verdict on Rs 92,000 crore past dues on them. The apex court had upheld the central government's plea on the definition of AGR involving around Rs 90,000 crore. (ANI)