SC dismisses Vodafone’s plea against levying one-time spectrum charges

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Vodafone against the levy of one-time spectrum charges (OTSC).

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Vodafone, told a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah that the charges are related to the adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

“Don’t pay anything… not this, not AGR. You will still not be touched,” Justice Mishra said while dismissing the plea.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sought to levy a one-time spectrum charge on telecom service providers.

This comes after the telecom companies paid their AGR dues to the Central government after the apex court pulled them up for violating its earlier order and not paying the money on time.

Vodafone Idea’s total AGR dues, as estimated by the DoT stand at Rs 53,038 crore, which includes Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and Rs 28,309 crore as the license fee. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel’s total AGR dues reportedly amount to Rs 35,586 crore.

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