Home >Industry >Telecom >There's no legal basis for transferring AGR dues of RCom: Jio tells SC

NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infcomm Ltd on Monday told the Supreme Court that there is no legal basis for transferring bankrupt Reliance Communications’ dues, adjusted gross revenue (AGR) or otherwise, to Jio as the two telecom operators in a spectrum-sharing agreement do not share liabilities.

The Supreme Court on 14 August had asked Reliance Jio why it should not be held liable to pay the dues of RCom as it has been using the latter’s spectrum since 2016, directing the two telcos and department of telecommunications (DoT) to submit details of the spectrum-sharing agreement.

In a written submission to the Supreme Court on Monday, Reliance Jio, which has been using RCom’s spectrum in the 800 megahertz band under an asset-sharing agreement, said it would have not entered into a spectrum-sharing agreement with RCom, had the guidelines stated liability for the telco using the airwaves of the one holding it.

“The spectrum-sharing guidelines do not make any provision for sharing of liabilities or for their being joint and several liability of the dues (past or present AGR, spectrum usage charge (SUC), etc) of the sharing operators wherever such ‘spectrum sharing’ was resorted. Had this been so, RJIL (Jio) would at no point have entered into this spectrum sharing arrangement," Jio told the apex court.

Reliance Jio informed the court that the spectrum sharing began on 5 September, 2016, the day it started operations in all areas. “Also, this arrangement related only to the 4G services and none of the 2G or 3G services could be provided using this arrangement," Jio said.

According to the Reliance Jio’s submission, RCom paid 6,627 crores to liberalise the administrative spectrum. "Thus, the government gained a revenue of 6,627 crores when Jio and RCom entered into the sharing arrangement."

Mint had earlier reporter that Reliance Jio is likely to tell the Supreme Court that it is not liable to pay the AGR-related dues of RCom since most of these dues predate Jio’s use of RCom’s spectrum. The AGR dues in question relate to 2G and 3G business of RCom and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) carried out before 2016.

On Monday, the Mukesh Ambani-led company also submitted to the court that it is not interested in acquiring the spectrum or any asset of RCom, owned by Ambani’s younger brother Anil Ambani. Jio also said it has not submitted any resolution plan to acquire RCom under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

“RJIL reiterates its earlier submissions and categorically states that it is not intending to acquire any spectrum which presently is held by RCOM, even if the sale of such spectrum is permitted by the top court…The impression created that the asset reconstruction company could be fronting for someone is erroneous," Jio said.

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