NEW DELHI: Facing huge dues, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel – two of India’s top telecom carriers are exploring further options and may file a curative petition in the country’s top court, following the dismissal of their review petitions in AGR matter Thursday.
Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea were disappointed by the Supreme Court’s rejection for review.
“We are evaluating filing a curative petition,” Bharti Airtel in a statement said. Vodafone Idea too reacted on similar lines, and said, “The company is exploring further options, including the filing of a curative petition.”
Last November, the two operators had sought a limited review of the apex court verdict in a bid to ease the AGR blow. Vodafone Idea owes Rs 53,000 crore while Bharti Airtel Rs 35,500 crore.
“This (the review petition dismissal) added financial pressure on the sector and will also adversely impact Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.
Earlier, the Indian government has refused to intervene and said that the matter was between the court and telecom companies.
“The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the review petition is the last straw in contributing to financial distress and it remains to be seen whether the industry will be able to recover from this setback,” Mathews added.
In addition, non-telecom companies which have telecom license too are required to pay as much as Rs 3 lakh crore collectively.
A three-judge bench dismissed the need for any review after an in-chamber hearing.