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SC seeks DoT's response on recovery of RCom's AGR dues from Jio

SC seeks DoT's response on recovery of RCom's AGR dues from Jio

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New Delhi [India], Aug 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to file its detailed response on whether the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of RCom should be recovered from Reliance Jio.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, noted that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has been using the spectrum of bankrupt Reliance Communications since 2016 and sought DoT's response on the issue.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the DoT, submitted before the court that the spectrum sharing is different from trading and users must pay AGR dues for it.
Mehta submitted that there is a difference of opinion and views, within its two ministries--Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Corporate Affairs--as to whether the spectrum of a telecom company can be sold in the insolvency proceedings or not.
The Solicitor General said that the assets owned by the third party held, by the company under insolvency, in trust, cannot be sold.
"People of the country are owners of spectrum held by the govt in trust, and it can't be sold under IBC," Mehta said.
The bench asked whether the spectrum can be bought and sold under IBC.
Shyam Divan, senior lawyer for Resolution Professional for Reliance Communications, replied that the spectrum is an asset in the hands of the company. The spectrum can be a subject of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and can be bought and sold, Divan said.
The Supreme Court, which was hearing petitions over the payment of AGR dues to the tune of Rs 92,000 crore to the government of India by the telecom companies, fixed the matter for further hearing on August 19. (ANI)

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