Bharti Airtel might move to the Supreme Court (SC) for filing a review petition for the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues matter. The telco’s plea for the rectification of ‘arithmetical’ errors made by the telecom department in the calculation of the AGR dues was rejected by the SC. It is worth noting that even Vodafone Idea might be planning to file a review petition for the same cause in the SC. Both the telcos saw their pleas for the rectification of errors in the AGR dues amount getting rejected from the SC a few weeks earlier.
Airtel Might Follow Vi’s Footsteps
A person aware of the matter told ET Telecom that Bharti Airtel might follow Vodafone Idea (Vi) in filing a review petition on the AGR dues amount rectification case. For the unaware, review petitions are filed within one month after a judgement is made.
Bharti Airtel has to pay a sum of Rs 43,980 crore as AGR dues to the Department of Telecommunications. But according to the calculations made by Airtel, it only needs to pay Rs 13,004 crore in AGR dues.
The telcos had appealed that DoT be requested to reassess the amount with new inputs which points out the arithmetical errors made by the department. But the SC announced that it won’t allow for any reassessment and the telcos were sent home packing.
Had the decision been in favour of the telcos, it would have helped the industry a lot. Regardless, the DoT is planning for releasing a relief package for the telecom sector which may see the telcos doing away with the unused spectrum by surrendering it to the government by paying a small penalty.
Looking at the way the previous hearings at the SC have gone, it doesn’t feel like the telcos’ will be able to present a very strong case. This might just be another disappointment in the waiting for the operators if they decide to file a review petition.