TDSAT Seeks Doc­u­ments on Jio’s Free Of­fers from Trai

Reg­u­la­tor told to spec­ify if tar­iffs were reg­u­lar or base plan, or spe­cial tar­iff voucher

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

Mum­bai: The Tele­com Dis­putes Set­tle­ment and Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal (TDSAT) on Mon­day asked reg­u­la­tor Trai to pro­vide all doc­u­ments re­gard­ing Mukesh Am­bani-owned Re­liance Jio’s free of­fers. Trai has also been asked to spec­ify if the tar­iffs were a reg­u­lar plan, base plan or spe­cial tar­iff voucher.

This de­ci­sion was taken dur­ing the hear­ing by TDSAT on an ap­peal filed by in­cum­bents Bharti Air­tel and Idea. The for­mer is owned by Su­nil Mit­tal and the lat­ter by Ku­mar Man­galam Birla. They had chal­lenged Trai’s de­ci­sion to al­low the new op­er­a­tor to con­tinue free pro­mo­tional of­fers be­yond the stip­u­lated 90 days. The in­cum­bents had also filed a fresh plea against the reg­u­la­tory body that gave a clean chit to Jio tar­iffs in an or­der dated Jan­uary 31, 2017.

Trai is ex­pected to pro­vide all doc­u­ments re­gard­ing Jio’s Wel­come Of­fer and Happy New Year of­fer by Fe­bru­ary 23.

The tri­bunal has fixed Fe­brua- ry 28 as the next date of hear­ing. “We want to know what is this...it is a reg­u­lar plan, base plan, spe­cial tar­iff voucher, top up or a combo voucher...,” said TDSAT mem­ber AK Bhar­gava.

This de­spite Jio’s coun­sel Ramji Srini­vasan’s ar­gu­ment that both of­fers were dis­tinct and were in ac­cor­dance with the re­quire­ments of pro­mo­tional of­fer and tele­com tar­iff or­der.

Jio also said that sub­scribers were in­formed of the shift to new plan through all medium. Their con­sent was not needed when ben­e­fits were be­ing ex­tended and there was no added li­a­bil­ity. Bharti Air­tel ear­lier had termed Trai’s Jan­uary 31, or­der as “wholly il­le­gal” and “pal­pa­bly wrong”. It ac­cused the reg­u­la­tor of “wrongly” hold­ing Jio’s pro­mo­tional of­fer as com­pli­ant with the reg­u­la­tory guide­lines, dis­tinct and hence not an ex­ten­sion of the pre­vi­ous of­fer.

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