“While respecting the Supreme Court’s decision, we would like to express our disappointment as we believe the long standing disputes raised regarding the AGR definition were bonafide and genuine,” Airtel said in a statement.
The company is “evaluating filing a curative petition”, it added.
“The industry continues to face severe financial stress and the outcome could further erode the viability of the sector as a whole. The industry needs to continue to invest in expanding networks, acquiring spectrum and introducing new technologies like 5G,” it said.
The money now required to pay punitive interest, penalty and interest on penalty which forms nearly 75 per cent of AGR dues would have better served the digital mission of the country, Airtel added.
The comments came after the Supreme Court dismissed the plea of telecom majors, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, seeking review of certain directions of the apex court on recovery of past dues amounting to Rs 1.47 lakh crore from telecom service providers.
The recovery of past dues by the government was based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of about Rs 92,000 crore.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S A Nazeer and M R Shah did not find merit in the review plea.