Indian cellco Vodafone Idea has informed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it will wait for a verdict from the Supreme Court on its modification plea before paying its Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues, indicating that it will miss the original deadline for the payment – 23 January 2020 – the Economic Times reports. Vodafone Idea and rival provider Bharti Airtel have both submitted pleas to the apex court requesting permission to negotiate with the DoT regarding the terms and timeline for the payment. A senior government official was cited as saying that the payment deadline was ‘technically a grey area’ as the Supreme Court had agreed to hear the operator’s modification pleas. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case next week.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Supreme Court last week rejected appeals from Vodafone Idea, Airtel and defunct provider Tata Teleservices which had sought a limited review of the court’s October order on AGR. The decision handed India’s telecom industry a bill of around INR1.47 trillion (USD20.7 billion) in unpaid dues, interest, penalties, and interest on the penalties with just three months to pay. The court dismissed the appeals, saying that there was no ‘justifiable reason’ to review the order and suggested it would take a hard line towards attempts to delay resolution of the case, saying that it would not permit ‘decades’ of litigation.