Today, an angry Supreme Court tore unpaid in following its orders into telecom companies as well as the government over dues worth thousands of crores. “We don’t know who produces this nonsense, there is no law left in the country,” said the Supreme Court, summoning bosses of telecommunications companies for contempt.
“It’s best not to live in this country, and rather leave the country,” thundered the judges, furious that their order was not fulfilled. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecommunication, and other managing directors were summoned to court on 17 March.
“I’m anguished. I don’t think I can work in this trial,” said the Supreme Court Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer, and MR Shah on Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices ‘ petition. “The way things are happening in the country has rattled our consciences,” they remarked.
“I’m totally at a loss how to operate in this system and in this country…… a desk officer sees himself as a judge and holds our order. Who’s the desk officer? Where’s the desk officer? Call him here now. Is there any rule left in the country?” the judges fumed. “For many years no company has deposited anything. They should have deposited some money,” they said.
In January, telecom companies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices approached the Supreme Court to request alteration in the decision of the top court to obtain more time to pay. The court had dismissed the petition of telecom service providers seeking a review of their earlier order that allowed the government to collect dues worth Rs 92,000 crore.