NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday, during the hearing on the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter of telecom companies, questioned the Centre as to how is it possible to sell the spectrum and whether it is transferable.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), to come prepared on the next hearing, and explain how can spectrum be sold or whether is transferable.
The bench also asked Mehta to get the NCLT orders connected with the query, as it scheduled the next hearing on the matter on August 14.
Mehta contended before the bench that the government has filed an appeal saying spectrum is a national property and it should not be part of bankruptcy assets.
At this, the bench questioned: “Why there was a delay in filing the appeal? What if the spectrum is sold in the meanwhile?”
Mehta contended before the bench that the Centre has told the National Company Law Tribunal that spectrum is a national property, cannot be an asset of the company, and it cannot be sold.
The bench also questioned how Aircel’s spectrum and license were sold and who gave the permission for it.
Aircel’s monitoring committee’s lawyer contended before the bench that no dues to government are be paid under the bankruptcy resolution plan, and insisted that he will place the details in court. The lawyer contended that the company paid the money to buy spectrum, and it is a transferable asset.
The Centre, however, said Aircel’s dues were Rs 12,000 crore.
As the bench questioned the DoT as to how it proposes to recover the AGR dues from a company which has gone into insolvency, Mehta replied that DoT’s stand is that spectrum cannot be part of bankruptcy assets.