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Letter to BS: Telcos have valid point in seeking concession on penalty

The differing opinion of Reliance Jio on the issue would only complicate the matter

Business Standard 


This refers to “Telcos file review plea against AGR verdict” (November 23). As expected most of the incumbent telecom service providers (TSPs) barring Reliance Jio have submitted review petition against the AGR verdict pronounced by the Supreme Court. Though one can't be sure of the outcome, the success of the review petition depends on TSPs presenting new facts not presented during hearing of the case, which is quite unlikely. The Supreme Court must have taken all relevant points into account during the course of hearing of the case spread over many years. Any inclination of the apex court in giving some concessions over interest and penalty depends on the government's willingness to accommodate the concerns of telcos in this regard.

TSPs have a legitimate point in seeking the concession on interest and penalty, primarily on two grounds —first, it took almost a decade and a half for the dispute to attain finality, and second, the telecom sector has significantly changed over the years with a few TSPs now facing existential crisis. However, the differing of Reliance Jio on the issue would only complicate the matter. It would ultimately come down to the government — how far it is willing to go to accommodate the concerns expressed by TSPs.

Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Jabalpur

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First Published: Tue, November 26 2019. 21:11 IST