The Supreme Court had called for the details of the sharing pact between Reliance Communication and Reliance Jio. Reliance Jio, today notified the apex body that it had already paid Rs. 195 crores in AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) – related dues that comprised of the spectrum sharing cost of RCom.
Reliance Jio founder and billionaire, Mukesh Ambani had informed the court of the willingness of paying any amount that stood pending from the RCom spectrum sharing.
A three-judge bench will sit down this Wednesday including Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer, and M. R. Shah who would further hear the matter. They were briefed by the senior advocate appearing for Jio and Committee of Creditors (CoC) of RCom on how it would be too early to finalize the selling of the spectrum under IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code), he added that the complaint could be decided only when the suitor moves the (DoT) Department of Telecom for spectrum sale.
Why is Reliance Jio being asked to pay for RCom’s spectrum?
Reliance Jio has been using and earning revenue by sharing the 800MHz spectrum of Reliance Communications since 2016 and hence it should pay for the AGR related dues.
In addition, the Supreme Court also questioned the other telecoms, who conveyed the incapacity to pay the Rs. 57000 crore dues, as to by whom were their airwaves used at the time of the insolvency resolution proceedings. Rs. 31000 crore is indebted to the government by RCom as statutory dues including that of Sistema Shyam Teleservices which it had a merger with, as per the government’s submissions in the previous hearing.
What did the court decide?
The three-judge bench decided on calling for the details of the identity of the owner, UVARCL (UV Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd.). This company has been passed by the Reliance Communications panel of lenders to buy the spectrum.
Earlier the court had been very strict on the AGR-dues issue.
The bench questioned Shyam Divan, Reliance Communications resolution professional on the time span, and the usage of the spectrum.
Shyam Divan explained the court on how a part of the spectrum was idle and the other was shared with Reliance Jio as per a 2016 deal.
“RJIL traded spectrum in 9 circles and shared spectrum in 17 circles in 800 MHz bands,” said Axis Capital in its report and added RJIL shares about 38 percent of the spectrum held by RCom.
The Supreme Court issued a similar direction for other companies that have filed insolvency to specify the use of the spectrum, including Aircel Limited, Aircel Cellular Limited and Dishnet Wireless Limited and Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. The bankrupt Companies’ Committee of Creditors, resolution professional, and their counsels are supposed to provide all the details of their spectrum usage and sharing.
Further, SC has adjourned the hearing to 19th August.