The Telecom Department has withdrawn its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment after the Supreme Court on Friday took a strong view of non-compliance with its order.

The order also directed field offices to take immediate necessary action in compliance with the October judgment of the Supreme Court. The direction by the DoT said its previous order dated 23rd January stands withdrawn with immediate effect.

The Department of Telecommunications has also ordered firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear dues before midnight. The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms. The order asked telcos to clear dues by 11.59 p.m. 

The department's move came after the Supreme Court today directed the managing directors and directors of telcos and other firms to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of 1.47 lakh crore rupees to the Department of Telecommunications.

Taking strong note of the non-compliance of its order, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah expressed anguish over the order passed by DoT's Desk Officer, staying the effect of its verdict in AGR matter.

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