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Crisis-hit Vodafone Idea files review petition in Supreme Court on AGR dues

The top court in its judgement on July 23 dismissed the petitions filed by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and many other telecom companies and refused their pleas seeking adjustment of AGR demand.

Published: 11th August 2021 01:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2021 09:31 AM   |  A+A-

Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea (Representational Photo)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Cash-strapped Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has submitted a review petition at the Supreme Court over a recent verdict that dismissed a plea from the company, Bharti Airtel, and the Tata group, asking for the correction of “arithmetic errors” in the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) computation of their AGR dues and penalties.

Industry sources also said that Bharti Airtel is likely to follow suit, though review petitions have had a very low success rate in getting verdicts favouring the petitioner.The review petition comes after the SC ruled last month that there would be no change in the AGR dues that are to be paid, with VIL liable to pay over Rs 58,000 crore in total and Airtel over Rs 44,000 crore. These liabilities have increased the strain on an already weak sector, but not for Reliance Jio - a late entrant which was only liable to pay around Rs 191 crore. 

While Jio has paid off its negligible dues, Airtel has paid Rs 18,000 crore towards its obligations and VIL over Rs 7,800 crore. The rest is to be paid in annual instalments running through 2030 and this year’s instalment is due by March 31, 2022. However, Airtel and VIL argued in court that if “arithmetic errors” in the DoT’s calculation were fixed, their total liabilities would be reduced to Rs 13,000 crore and Rs 21,500 crore respectively. “The review petition was expected, because the telcos need to exhaust their legal options. But review petitions have a very low chance of success historically. even earlier in AGR, it didn’t work,” said an industry source.



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