Why wasn’t due of ₹1.47 lakh cr paid? Supreme Court asks telcos

Apex court orders telcos to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for non-compliance of its order

The grievance is that despite having specific provisions under the law, IRDA is reluctant in taking immediate action, advocate pointed.

Hitting out at the directors and managing directors of telecom companies for not paying adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of ₹1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecommunications, the Supreme Court on Friday (February 14) ordered them to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order.

The court also criticised the government for showing laxity in the collection of dues.

Taking strong note of the non-compliance of its order, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice M R Shah expressed anguish over the order passed by DoT’s desk officer staying the effect of its verdict in AGR matter.

“We don’t know who is creating this nonsense. Is there no law left in country… It is better not to live in this country and rather leave the country,” the bench observed.

The top court said a desk officer is writing a letter to the Attorney General and other constitutional authorities saying they should not insist on payment of money by telcos and others and to ensure that no coercive action is taken against them.