Delhi High Court  upholds Trai’s regulation for compensation on call drops

Delhi High Court  upholds Trai's regulation for compensation on call dropsIn a significant development, the Delhi High Court today upheld telecom regulator’s Trai decision asking operators to mandatory compensate mobile users with rupee one for every call drop, maximum to three calls per day.

Telecom operators had approached the Delhi High Court against Trai’s regulation. Petitions were filed by the Cellular Operators Association of India, the association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance.The petition by COAI and others was dismissed by the Delhi HC today.

In October last year, Trai issued amendment in Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations mandating mobile service providers to compensate their subscribers for call dropped or automatically disconnected due to technical glitches in their network.

The rules mandated telecom operators to provider Re 1 compensation for each call dropped, with a compensation cap of Rs 3 per day startingJanuary 1 but no coercive step was taken by the regulator as the matter was pending in the Court.

Trai had told the high court that consumers have a right to get compensated for call drops and this was different from the quality of service guidelines that cellular service providers have to follow under the licence conditions.

However, telecom companies had argued that even if consumers were facing problems, a regulation without statutory backing cannot be created. The firms had claimed that everyone was prejudiced against them, while referring to some pleas filed by consumer groups in support of Trai’s October 16 regulation which mandates cellular operators to pay consumers one rupee per call drop experienced on their networks, subject to a cap of Rs 3 a day. The operators have sought quashing of the regulation.

Bureau Report

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