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    Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea to not pay AGR dues today, urge govt to wait for further SC order

    telecom | IST

    Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea to not pay AGR dues today, urge govt to wait for further SC order

    Mini

    The Supreme Court on January 17 had dismissed the petitions by the telecom firms to review its October verdict.

    Even as the deadline to pay the AGR dues ends today, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have written to the department of telecommunications, requesting the government to wait for orders from the Supreme Court with regards to the firms seeking more time to pay the required amount.
    Both the companies have confirmed that they will not be able to pay the AGR dues today.
    The Supreme Court on January 17 had dismissed the petitions by the telecom firms to review its October verdict which rejected the telcos' definition of AGR and exposed them to payments of up to Rs 1.33 lakh crore.
    In the petitions, the companies had urged that the apex court revisit its judgment and amend it in any shape or form to grant them relief.
    However, after the SC dismissed their pleas with no changed in the January 23 deadline for payment of dues, the firms had filed a modification petition. This time, they did not dispute the amount but requested for more time to pay the same.
    Bharti Airtel, in its letter to DOT, has said that it will not be able to make the payments today and has urged the government to wait for the SC's orders with regards to the fresh pleas.
    Vodafone Idea has also sought time from the government until the next hearing, saying it will not be able to make the payments today.
    “As the matter is about scheduling the entire payment, the token may differ and then it can lead to differences, it could just complicate the whole thing so it is better that no token is made and they just wait for the Supreme Court’s order next week," Rajiv Sharma of SBICAP Securities told CNBC-TV18.
    Senior advocate Meet Malhotra too believes that a "weeks’ time is not earth-shaking and they will probably wait for the next week or 10 days till the matter is listed again before the Supreme Court.”
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