TRAI ordered all mobile operators to pay compensation to its customers
at Rs. 1 for every call drop, subject to a maximum of Rs. 3 per day
with effect from 1st January 2016. The latest Supreme Court ruling is a great relief to all mobile operators whereas ordinary consumers are very much disappointed.
Supreme Court passed the judgment on appeals filed by the Cellular
Operators Association of India (COAI), Association of Unified Telecom
Service Providers of India (AUSPI) and 21 telecom operators.
“We, therefore, hold that a strict penal liability laid down on the erroneous basis that the fault is entirely with the service provider is manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable. Also, the payment of such penalty to a consumer who may himself be at fault, and which gives an unjustifiable windfall to such a consumer, is also manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable,” – a bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph said while setting aside the TRAI order.
Kapil Sibal, who was representing telecom operators, said, “The Supreme Court of India has rendered historic judgment by striking down the TRAI regulation.”
Rajan S Mathews, Director General of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India, said – “We are very pleased with the Supreme Court Verdict. It affirms what we have been saying all along. Now, let us move forward and fix the real issues, like having more cell towers, affordable spectrum and working with the local authorities to get the infrastructure in place.”
“As far the judgement is concerned, Trai regulation is under scrutiny. Therefore, TRAI needs to take a call. As far as government obligation is concerned, we shall continue to persuade telecom operators to provide good service,“- the Minister said.
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