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The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Centre’s petition on interpretation of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and ordered eight telecom companies including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to pay Rs 92,000 crores in dues.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said: “We allow the appeals of the DoT…. The gross revenue will prevail as defined, as ‘gross revenue’”.

However, the court didn’t pass any order on the time-frame within which the telecom companies will have to clear their dues.

The top court had reserved the order in August.

The telecom companies have contradicted the interpretation of AGR by the government. The DoT mandates that AGR should include rent and profit from the sale of junk, handset sales, dividends besides revenue from services whereas telecom companies contends that AGR should only constitute earnings from critical operations.

Currently, the government gets 8 per cent of AGR as licence free.

—India Legal Bureau

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