SC restrains DoT from invoking Airtel’s bank guarantees

The Supreme Court docket on Tuesday directed the Division of Telecommunications to not invoke the financial institution ensures of Bharti Airtel for 3 weeks to recuperate ₹1,376-crore AGR dues of Videocon Telecommunications Ltd.

Videocon had offered its spectrum to the Bharti group.

A 3-judge Bench, led by Justice L Nageswara Rao, offered the aid to the Bharti Group, which had moved the apex courtroom difficult the demand discover issued by the DoT on August 17 for fee of the Adjusted Gross Income dues of Videocon Telecom, in accordance with the Supreme Court docket’s September 1, 2020 judgment.

The DoT had demanded that Bharti pay up inside every week of the date of the discover, and had threatened invoking its financial institution ensures.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, showing for Airtel, agreed to withdraw from the Supreme Court docket to strategy the “applicable discussion board” for redress towards the discover. Granting it liberty to take action, the Bench, in flip, famous that the DoT was “at liberty to boost all contentions”.

“The Division of Telecommunications shall not invoke the monetary financial institution ensures of respondent No.53 (Bharti) for 3 weeks from right now,” the courtroom ordered.

Videocon Telecom had offered its spectrum to Bharti Airtel in pursuance of agreements entered in 2016. The Bharti Group has already paid ₹18,004 crore in AGR-related dues to the DoT by March 31, 2021 which is rather more than 10 per cent of its complete AGR dues of over ₹43,000 crore, Divan argued.

In its order of September final yr, the apex courtroom had mentioned that telecom operators shall make the fee of 10 per cent of the overall dues as demanded by the DoT by March 31, 2021 and the remaining be paid in yearly instalments from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2031. | SC restrains DoT from invoking Airtel’s financial institution ensures


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