NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday sought the details of spectrum sharing pact between Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Jio and said as to why the company using the spectrum of the other firm cannot be asked to pay the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) related dues to the government.
Spectrum is a government property, not private, and anyone using it is liable to pay the dues, the apex court said.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah asked the counsel for Reliance Jio and RCom to place their spectrum sharing agreements on record. The bench also asked DoT to make its clear in whose name and from which date the spectrum is being used and how much fees/dues of AGR year-wise and amount was deposited with it for using of the airwaves by the companies under some inter se arrangements.
“Let DoT file an affidavit with respect to its stand reflected in the order passed by this court on February 20, 2019. Let DoT also file the requisite documents in this regard supported by an affidavit of the secretary of the department of telecommunication. List on August 17, 2020 at 3pm,” the bench said.
The bench mentioned the February 20, 2019 order of the top court by which then RCom chairman Anil Ambani and two others were held guilty of contempt of court for violating its order by not paying dues of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson.
The amount was later paid by them to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
The bench also sought details of orders, proceedings before NCLT/NCLAT and offers/plan by Resolution Professional/Committee of Creditors (CoC) submitted before the NCLT in the matters of telecom companies under insolvency.
It said the details be placed on record about what is the proposal regarding sale of the assets of the telecom companies under insolvency and who is the proposed purchaser be also clearly culled out in the affidavit supported by the documents. During the hearing, senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for resolution professional for RCom, said that the government had been informed about the spectrum sharing agreement which was done in 2016 and the required fees have been paid.