Vodafone Idea has taken a decisive step to address the contentious issue of Adjusted Gross Revenue dues (AGR dues). On Monday, the telecom giant filed a curative petition with the Supreme Court, seeking a correction in the AGR dues they are required to pay.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing Vodafone Idea, brought this crucial matter before a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.
Salve, in his argument, emphasized the presence of arithmetical errors in the calculations and emphasized that this petition is a curative measure aimed at rectifying these discrepancies.
When CJI Chandrachud inquired about the expected duration of the legal proceedings, Salve assured the bench that it would likely conclude within a day.
Subsequently, the CJI announced that the relevant documents and arguments would be circulated, and a date for the formal hearing is yet to be determined.
This legal saga traces back to 2019 when the Supreme Court directed major telecom players, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, to settle their AGR dues according to the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) calculations.
In September 2020, the Supreme Court granted telecom companies a ten-year window to clear their outstanding AGR dues to the Central government, with an initial payment of 10 percent due by March 31, 2021.
However, the telecom companies’ plea for a reevaluation of the dues was dismissed by the apex court in July 2021.
As of now, Vodafone Idea faces an AGR dues liability amounting to Rs 58,254 crore, of which they have remitted Rs 7,854 crore. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel’s outstanding dues stand at Rs 43,980 crore.
In response to the Supreme Court’s verdict, Vodafone Idea lodged a review petition in August 2021, seeking a correction in their payable dues. This review petition is currently pending.
The telecom companies’ contention revolves around alleged arithmetical errors in the DoT’s calculations and their desire for the court to allow rectification of these discrepancies.
The Supreme Court, in its earlier ruling, barred telecom companies from independently assessing their dues and endorsed the figures claimed by the DoT.
In light of the recent development where the DoT rejected Vodafone Idea’s plea for the review of license fee demands amounting to Rs 3,273 crore for the financial years 2016 and 2017, the company has indicated that it is contemplating its next steps in the Supreme Court.
About Vodafone Idea:
Vodafone Idea, also known as Vi, is an Indian mobile network operator. It is headquartered in Mumbai and Gandhinagar. Vi provides a comprehensive range of services including 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE Advanced, Voice Over LTE, and VoWiFi across India.
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