March 18, 2020 / 6:36 AM / in 19 days

India's top court lashes out at telecoms firms, says no re-evaluation of dues allowed

NEW DELHI, March 18 (Reuters) - India’s top court on Wednesday lashed out at mobile operators for self-assessing their outstanding telecoms dues, saying it amounted to a violation of the court orders.

The Supreme Court also came down heavily on the federal telecoms department for allowing companies to re-assess what they owed to the government, saying its order in the matter was final.

The court, however, said it was open to considering pleas seeking reasonable time for payment of the dues.

The Supreme Court late last year upheld a demand by India’s telecoms department that wireless carriers pay 920 billion Indian rupees ($12.4 billion) in overdue levies and interest.

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, two of India’s top three carriers, owed the bulk of that money.

$1 = 74.2000 Indian rupees Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty; Editing by Tom Hogue

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