Supreme Court of India (file pic)
Supreme Court of India (file pic)

Telecom companies to pay around Rs 90000 to Centre after apex court rejects their appeal

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 16:29 IST

New Delhi (India), Oct 24 (ANI): In a major setback to telecom companies, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected their appeal against Centre's definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
The apex court has upheld the Central Government's plea on the definition of AGR involving around Rs 90,000 crore. With this, the telecom companies will have to pay the same amount within a stipulated time as decided by Court.
The bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, rejected the telecom companies' appeal against government's definition of AGR.
The definition of AGR calculation was decided by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) earlier and was challenged by telecom companies later before the court.
The bench of the apex court had heard extensively the arguments from all the petitioners and the Centre in this regard. The apex court, while passing the order, termed the issues raised by telecom companies with respect to AGR as "frivolous".
The court also made it clear that not only the original charges, but principal interest and penalties on delayed payments would also have to be paid by telecom companies.
An airtel spokesperson said they were disappointed by the verdict of the Supreme Court.
"The definition of AGR has been a long standing dispute between the DoT and the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) dating to 2005. The issue of inclusion of revenue from non-telecom activities and interpretation of the heads included in the definition of AGR under the license conditions has been through several rounds of litigation, which have been in favour of the TSPs till now. We will be able to comment further only after reviewing the order in detail," the spokesperson said. (ANI)