The Supreme Court on 11 May 2016 struck down the regulation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which made it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops from January 2016.
The court struck the regulation calling it as arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent.
The apex bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman passed the judgement on the appeals filed by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
COAI is a body of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance, challenging the Delhi High
After TRAI imposed mandatory compensations to the subscribers for call drops, COAI appealed to the apex court that the entire telecom sector is under huge debt and they have to pay big price for spectrum, therefore zero tolerance on call drops should not be imposed on them.
As the service providers refused to pay compensations to the consumers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) informed the Supreme Court that it is going to take necessary action against the Telcos for call drops to protect the interest of consumers.
TRAI claimed to court that it has to safeguard 100 crore telecom subscribers and if companies agree to compensate call drops with equal number of free calls to consumers without pre-conditions then it is open to re- consider its direction imposing penalty on them.
Earlier on 16 October 2015, the Delhi High Court upheld the TRAI’s decision of mandatory payment of compensation of one rupee per call drop experienced by the Telecom Network subject to a cap of 3 rupees a day.
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