The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India

SC declines to pass any direction to Centre on AGR over Vodafone-Idea's plea

ANI | Updated: Feb 17, 2020 13:59 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass an order on Vodafone-Idea's plea to direct the central government not to encash its bank guarantee in view of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) judgement.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Vodafone-India, mentioned the matter before a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and said that it will deposit Rs 2,500 crore with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today and Rs 1,000 crore by Friday, and it needs more time to deposit the entire amount arising out of the AGR judgement.
Rohatgi requested to not take any 'coercive measures" against the company, including encashment of its bank guarantees with the government.
After hearing Rohatgi, Mishra declined to pass any instruction to the government.
The Supreme Court, while hearing a plea on payment of dues under the AGR case on Friday, had 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 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 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 had observed.

Warning the telecom companies of initiation of contempt proceedings against them and a desk officer of the DoT, the top had 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)