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SC to hear telecom firms fresh pleas next week

SC to hear telecom firms fresh pleas next week
Highlights

The Supreme Court today agreed to list next week the fresh pleas of telecom firms including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices.

The Supreme Court today agreed to list next week the fresh pleas of telecom firms including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices. The telecom companies yesterday filed modification applications after the apex court seeking an extension of January 23, 2020, deadline for the payment of statutory dues to the tune of Rs1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecommunication.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of submissions by telecoms' lawyers and said it will list the fresh pleas sometime in next week before the same bench which had heard the earlier petition in the high-stake matter.

The telcos, however, said they want an open court hearing on their fresh pleas about working out a fresh schedule of payment of their dues. To which the Chief Justice replied that it will be decided by the bench concerned.

Earlier on January 16, 2020, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had dismissed review petitions of telecom firms seeking review of its October 24, 2019, verdict that widened the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and asked them to pay Rs1.47 lakh crore in statutory dues by January 23. The bench observed that it did not find any justifiable reason to entertain them.

Major pointers of the Modification applications

* The companies want to be allowed to negotiate schedules and conditions for payment of the dues with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

* The companies who have posted huge losses in the September 2019 quarter due to the AGR provisioning are also seeking to waive off the penalties.

Vodafone Idea in its plea has said that it will have to shut its business if no relief is provided by the court.

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