New Delhi, Sep 1 : Granting 10 years to telcos for repayment of AGR dues, the Supreme Court on Tuesday also asked the Department of Telecommunication to complete assessment of liability of AGR dues in spectrum trading.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer and M.R. Shah said: “We direct DoT to complete the assessment in such cases of trade and raise demand if it has not been raised and to examine the correctness of self-assessment and raise demand, if necessary, after due verification. In case demand notice has not been issued, let DoT raise the demand within six weeks from today.”
The bench observed that on a joint reading of para 11 of the Spectrum Trading Guidelines dated October 12, 2015, read with O.M. dated May 12, 2016, showed that the seller’s dues prior to the concluding of the agreement/spectrum trading shall not fall upon the buyer. The bench noted that parties were aware of the definition of pending AGR, and the purchasers of spectrum cannot escape the liability as specified in the Spectrum Trading Guidelines.
“Thus, it is apparent that it was known to the parties that AGR dues were to be finalised as per the decision of this court in a pending matter, and this was pending for the last 20 years. The liability cannot be escaped as specified in the Trading Guidelines to the extent that the seller or buyer is liable. They have to pay the AGR as per the judgment rendered by this court. The purchasers who are not seller or buyer, shall have to pay the dues to the extent they are liable under the Guidelines,” the bench observed.
The top court said in the present case, it is not in dispute that in some cases, only part spectrum was traded, and the remaining spectrum continued with the seller. At the time of agreement for spectrum trading, the AGR dues of the seller were also known, noted the bench.
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