Telecom service provider Vodafone-Idea has stated that it will explore grounds to file a review application after the Supreme Court ordered telecom companies to pay an estimated Rs 92,000 crore in dues.
“We will study the ruling as soon as it is available, along with our legal advisers, to determine the next step. If there are technical or procedural grounds for doing so, this could include a Review Application", a Vodafone-Idea spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that Vodafone-Idea is extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court judgment on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case.
The matter is 14-years old and pertains to the issue of whether revenue from other non-telecom-related activities should be included in the AGR definition under the telecom license conditions. The matter has already been through several rounds of litigation, which have been largely in favor of the operators until now.
“Clearly this judgment has significant damaging implications for India's telecom industry, which is already reeling under huge financial stress and is left with only four operators. Significant investment of several billion dollars has been made in creating world class networks. The Supreme Court order has huge impact on two private operators while most of the other impacted operators have exited the sector,” the statement said.
“We urgently request that the government engage on this matter in order to find ways to mitigate the financial stress for the industry,” the Vodafone-Idea statement said.
Earlier, Airtel said that the government must review the impact of this decision by the Supreme Court since the telecom companies have invested billions and currently face severe financial pressure.
"We are disappointed by the verdict of the Supreme Court. This decision has come at a time when the sector is facing severe financial stress and may further weaken the viability of the sector as a whole. Of the 15 old operators impacted by the Supreme Court order, only two private sector operators remain in service today”, the Airtel statement said.