The Supreme Court resumes hearing a plea regarding the AGR (adjusted gross revenue) case on Friday, Aug 21,2020 at 2:00pm. An appeal was made before the SC by Telecom Companies: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and others who are under insolvency to allow them to make staggered payments of their adjusted dues.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has begun hearing the matter. While hearing the plea today, the SC observed, “As per trading guidelines, past dues need to be paid before the transfer of the spectrum.”
Vodafone Idea owes a balance of around Rs 50,399 crore, Bharti Airtel owes around Rs. 25. 976 crores, according to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. Senior Advocate Harish Salve for Jio argued, “In NCLT, DoT is challenging the resolution plan on the ground that spectrum can be sold…”. He further added, “The issue of the sale of the spectrum should be left to NCLT.”
Advocate Silbal for Airtel Bharti argued, “Even Airtel has not received any notice form the Government over any additional dues…” He further argued, “If SC refuses to recognise the sale of the spectrum, banks will stop lending to telcos, will grievously hurt the telecom sector… Spectrum is recognised as an asset, it is the most valuable asset with telcos…”
Earlier on Aug 20. 2020 the Apex Court adjourned the case and expressed its worries that all of the AGR dues will extinguish in the IBC process. Justice Mishra also remarked, “Without paying for the horse, telcos are taking a ride…”. SC adjourns hearing to August 24, 2020.