Major Relief for Telcoms as SC Strikes Down TRAI Regulation Cost for Call Drops
Today Supreme Court give its final decision that now telecom operators do not have to pay compensate to consumers for call drops. In October last year TRAI or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had asked service providers to compensate consumers for dropped calls at Rs. 1 each for the first three calls daily.
The decision was challenged in the top court by telecom operators after the Delhi High Court refused to cancel it in February. In the Supreme Court, service providers had argued that the regulator’s decision was a “populist” measure. A call drop means a voice call which after being successfully established, is interrupted before it is completed.
Telecom companies argued that under the terms and conditions of licences, it was only when call drops exceed a two per cent ceiling that operators had to pay penalties, and no service provider had breached that limit so far.
TRAI told the court that its decision to impose a call drop penalty was a “least invasive way to deal with the issue” and that telcos must enhance their investment in infrastructure as they were earning huge revenues.
The government had expressed concern over call drops, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying it directly impacts the common man. TRAI consulted stakeholders including mobile operators and consumer groups before making its recommendations.