No penalty on call drops; SC calls TRAI recommendation arbitrary, unreasonable
The Supreme court said Trai's recommendation making it mandatory for telecos to compensate subscribers for call drop is arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Supreme court on Wednesday said Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) recommendation making it mandatory for telecos to compensate subscribers for call drop is arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent.
Associations of telecom operators had filed a plea in the SC challenging sector regulator TRAI's 16 October, 2015 notification obligating service providers to compensate consumers for dropped calls, at Rs 1 each for the first three calls daily.
The associations had contended that under the terms and conditions of licence, it was only when call drops exceed a 2 percent ceiling that operators attract penalties, and none of the telecom service providers have breached the cap or penalised on this count.
However, TRAI had defended its decision to impose call drop penalty on the telecom service providers 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.
The counsel for telecom operators had refuted the allegations of TRAI that telecom companies are not investing on technology and towers and had said that in past 15 months over two lakh towers have been installed.
The Delhi High Court had early this year upheld the October 16, 2015 decision of TRAI, making it mandatory for cellular operators to pay consumers one rupee per call drop experienced on their networks, subject to a cap of Rs 3 a day.