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
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.