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AGR woes: DoT asks telcos to clear dues by midnight after SC rap; withdraws order of no coercive action against defaulting firms

Firstpost logoFirstpost 4 days ago FP Staff

After Supreme Court rap, the Department of Telecommunications has ordered firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear dues before Friday midnight.

an Indian pedestrian walks past a Vodafone India telecommunications outlet in New Delhi © SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images an Indian pedestrian walks past a Vodafone India telecommunications outlet in New Delhi

The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms, an order seen by PTI said.

The order asked telcos to clear dues by 11.59 pm Friday.

Earlier, the telecom department has withdrawn its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment after the Supreme Court on Friday took a strong view of non-compliance with its order.

The order also directs field offices to take "immediate necessary action" in compliance with the October judgment of the Supreme Court.

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The direction by the DoT says its previous order dated 23 January, 2020 "stands withdrawn with immediate effect".

"It is directed to take immediate necessary action in compliance with the judgement dated 24 October, 2019 of the Supreme Court," said the fresh order issued by the DoT soon after the apex court made its observations on Friday.

The department's move came after the Supreme Court on Friday directed the managing directors and directors of telcos and other firms to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecommunications.

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.

Also watch: All you need to now about SC's judgement against telcos (Video by CNBCTV18)

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