TDSAT to decide on Loop's plea against Airtel on SMS agreement

TDSAT to decide on Loop's plea against Airtel on SMS agreement New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT has admitted a petition of Loop Mobile which alleged that it was coerced by Bharti Airtel to sign an SMS termination agreement to pay 10 paise per message.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) rejected the plea of Bharti Airtel and held that it has power to look into the agreement signed by the two operators.

" ... This Tribunal has jurisdiction to go into the matter as raised by the Petitioner (Loop Mobile). Accordingly, the plea of the Respondent (Bharti) for lack of jurisdiction of the Tribunal is rejected and the Petition is admitted," TDSAT said.

"Similarly, as held by the Supreme Court, this Tribunal has no jurisdiction to decide the validity of the terms and conditions of the contract but it will have jurisdiction to decide any dispute between the parties on the interpretation of the terms and conditions of the contract," it added.

However, TDSAT did not gave any interim relief to Loop Mobile, saying that "in absence of the reply of the Respondent (Bharti), it is not possible to issue any order at this stage to pass an interim order".

Loop Mobile had signed agreement on SMS termination with - Bharti Airtel and Bharti Hexacom - on November 10 last year, agreeing to pay 10 paise per message to the later.

It alleged that Airtel abusing its 'dominant position' has threatened to disconnect termination of the SMS on its network generated from its network.

Loop Mobile, earlier known as BPL Mobile, has requested TDSAT to declare agreement signed by it with Bharti Airtel as "null and void". Loop Mobile has alleged that it was "coerced into signing".

TDSAT directed Bharti Airtel to file its reply and posted the matter for hearing on January 21.

PTI