The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that no self-assessment or re-assessment of AGR dues can be done by telecom companies while the government’s application that telcos be allowed to spread the payment of their dues over 20 years.
The court order is clear, no further objections will be allowed against payable dues”, a three-judge bench consisting of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah said adding that if the telecom firms violate the rules, they will be held for contempt of court. The top court said this while questioning the Solicitor General, on telcos’ self-assessments without permission of the court, calling it a contempt.
“Serious fraud being committed by telecom companies by asserting to do self-assessment of AGR dues,” said the bench while hearing the telecom companies Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case.
The SC said that their judgement on AGR dues is full and final and it should be followed in letter and spirit.
During hearing, Justice Arun Mishra said that the companies have earned a lot of money and will have to pay from 2002. “Telcos are usurpers of public money, you don’t even want to pay a fraction of the revenue earned. Even the media is in grossest contempt of court”, he said. When counsel for Airtel said that companies are complying with orders but need time to pay dues.
The matter has been listed after two weeks.
India Legal Bureau