‘Trai order arbitrary, telcos need not pay for call drops’
NEW DELHI: Telecom companies will not have to compensate customers for call drops, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, striking down an order by the sector regulator that sought to penalise service providers for call disruptions.
A bench of justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman declared the regulation to be “arbitrary, non-transparent and unreasonable”. The order came on a clutch of petitions by telecom operators challenging a Delhi high court verdict upholding regulator TRAI’s notification asking them to compensate consumers Rs 1 for each call drop, subject to a maximum of three disrupted calls a day.
“The impugned regulation must be held to be manifestly arbitrary and an unreasonable restriction on the appellants and their business,” the bench ordered, holding the TRAI did not consult the stakeholders who were not allowed to make their submissions on the regulation. The procedure followed to bring in the subordinate legislation was non-transparent, it said.