Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices have filed a joint application to the Supreme Court of India, seeking modification in its verdict in the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case that the court decided in favor of the government. In their petition, the three carriers have sought more time to pay the unpaid AGR dues that run into tens of thousands of crores.
In a press statement on Monday, Shally Bhasin, a partner in Agarwal Law Associates, which is representing Vodafone Idea in the matter, said that the case is likely to be heard on Tuesday. As things stand now, the companies are required to pay the outstanding amount to the telecom department by Thursday, January 23rd.
The move comes a week after the Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions filed by telcos to alter its earlier judgement, which, last year, set a three-month deadline for telecom operators to pay the outstanding dues that now stand at more than Rs. 1 lakh crore (around $15 billion), including the original amounts, interests and penalties. Citing falling revenues and rising losses, most of the companies have expressed their inability to pay the outstanding dues, with Vodafone even threatening to sell off its business in the country if it didn’t get any relief from the government.
According to Mint, Bharti Airtel owes the government around Rs. 35,586 crore (around $5 billion), while Vodafone Idea is yet to pay its dues worth a whopping Rs. 50,000 crore (around $7 billion). As for Tata Teleservices, which has already exited the wireless sector by selling its mobile services business to Airtel, it has outstanding dues of Rs. 14,000 crore (around $2 billion).