Service providers can’t be penalised for ‘Call drops’ : Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) notification obligating telecom service providers to compensate consumers for dropped calls.
An apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman struck down the December 16, 2015, notification as it set aside a Delhi High Court judgement upholding the TRAI notification.
Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Nariman said the TRAI notification was unreasonable, arbitrary and non-transparent.
The service providers, during the hearing, had contended that TRAI decision was a “populist” measure to accommodate consumers as call drops were happening for the host of external considerations not attributable to them.
However, TRAI had defended its decision to impose the call drop penalty, describing it as a “least invasive way to deal with the issue” and told the apex court that the service providers must enhance their investment in infrastructure as they were earning huge revenues.
In October last year, Trai had come out with the regulation which was to come into effect from January 1, mandating operators to give one rupee for every call drop to the user, with a maximum of three per day.