Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will communicate with Vodafone and other companies, about its decision on Reliance Jio free offers, today. TRAI had told the Delhi High Court about this, but did not disclose its decision there and instead said that it will do so, only to the companies that made the representations. Vodafone had earlier claimed that the regulatory authority had not implemented its own circulars which lay down that tariffs must be the complaint of interconnection usage charges (IUC) and be non-discriminatory and non-predatory. Meanwhile, TRAI told Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva that the decision will be placed before the Delhi HC before the court by February 6, the next date of hearing.
The plea was filed by Vodafone India which accused TRAI of failing to prohibit ‘blatant violation’ of tariff orders, directions and regulations by RJio by permitting it to continue with its free offers. Vodafone contended that each day’s delay by TRAI in implementing its tariff orders was causing a huge loss to the company. Vodafone contended that TRAI itself in 2002 had told all telecom service providers that “promotional tariffs cannot exceed 90 days upper limit”. “The free offerings were illegal and also violates the 90 days upper limit fixed for any promotional offer (with) 90 days expiring on September 18, 2016 (even if counted from June 21, 2016) and in any event on December 3, 2016.”
During the hearing, RJIO contended that on October 20, 2016, the telecom regulator had decided that its free offer from September 5, 2016, to December 3, 2016, was not non-compliant of IUC, not predatory and not discriminatory and this order has not been challenged by Vodafone.
TRAI submitted before the court that the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was approached by Airtel and Idea against the free offers and the tribunal had directed the regulator to take a decision on February 1.
The regulator told the court that TDSAT was today informed that a decision has been taken and that it would be communicated to the companies which had moved representations before TRAI.
(with PTI inputs)