AGR case: SC dismisses plea by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea

Telecom companies had submitted before the court that arithmetical errors in the calculation be rectified and there are cases of duplication of entries

Supreme Court
In September last year, the SC had ordered the companies to pay their dues to the Department of Telecom

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the applications filed by telecom majors, including Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, raising the issue of alleged errors in calculation in the figure of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) related dues payable by them.

“All the miscellaneous applications are dismissed,” a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said. The verdict was slated to be pronounced on Thursday but was cancelled at the last hour.

Shares of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea plunged as much as 10 per cent to 8 per share post the verdict. Bharti Airtel was trading over 1 per cent higher at 552 apiece on the BSE.

In September last year, the SC had ordered the companies to pay their dues to the Department of Telecom. It had granted 10 years to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices for paying the dues to the DoT with certain conditions. The SC had asked telcos to pay 10 per cent of the dues by March 31, 2021.


A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had held that the demand made by the DoT and the verdict delivered by the SC were final. The bench had asked the managing directors or CEOs of the telcos concerned to furnish undertaking or personal guarantee for payment of dues.

In January this year, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had moved the apex court seeking directions to the DoT to recalculate AGR dues, citing “mathematical errors” in calculation of the outstanding amount by the department.

The court, which had held that demand raised by the DoT in respect of AGR dues will be final, had said there shall be no dispute raised by the telcos and that there shall not be any re-assessment.

The apex court had in October 2019 delivered its verdict on the AGR issue.

The DoT in March last year had moved a plea in the top court seeking permission for allowing staggered payment of the dues by telcos over a period of 20 years.