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SC asks telecom department not to encash bank guarantees for 3 weeks in AGR Case

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2021 21:05 IST


New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): In a partial relief for Bharati Airtel, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), not to encash the bank guarantees for three weeks for not clearing Rs 1,300 crore AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues.
A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao passed the order today and asked the DOT not to encash the bank guarantees for three weeks in AGR Case.
The Apex court refused to entertain Bharati Airtel's plea challenging DoT demand, but, the SC, however, said that it (Bharati Airtel) can move TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) and can appeal against the Central government's decision.
Bharti Airtel, after this, withdrew its plea against DoT's demand to pay Videocon's AGR dues.
Bharti Airtel, today, during the course of the hearing, said that Videocon is a telecom service provider under insolvency, which has dues of Rs 1,376 crore. The Spectrum trade governed by govt norms, can't be asked to pay Videocon's dues. The seller has to clear all dues prior to concluding any agreement for spectrum trade.
Senior lawyer Shyam Divan appearing for Bharti Airtel said that "the issue is urgent, and it got a letter for payment for clearing Videocon's dues by August 17. If we do not pay by today, it was threatened that bank guarantees will be invoked."

The Supreme Court asked Bharati Airtel to approach the appropriate forum seeking reprieve in the AGR Case.
Another Telecom giant, Vodafone Idea, had on August 11, filed its review petition before the Supreme Court challenging its July 23 verdict in which, the Top Court had rejected its plea seeking adjustment of AGR dues to account for 'Arithmetic errors'.
The Supreme Court in its judgement, headed by Justice Rao, had on July 23, had dismissed the petitions filed by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and many other telecom companies and refused their pleas seeking adjustment of AGR demand.
Vodafone Idea had knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court challenging the July 23 judgement and again seeking modifications of its verdict.
After due consideration and keeping in view the facts and figures of the cases, the Supreme Court had on July 23 in its judgement, did not find any merit in the prayers of the telecom companies -- Airtel and Vodafone Idea -- and dismissed their applications.
Supreme Court had on July 19, reserved its order on Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel's plea seeking its direction for correction of errors in AGR calculation.
Supreme Court had in its judgement in September last year granted telecom companies including Airtel Bharti, Vodafone Idea, etc a period of 10 years to clear their pending AGR dues to the Central government. (ANI)

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