Poor call on call-drop penalty
Apropos of the edit “Dial again, Trai” (FE, May 12), the reversal of the High Court judgment by the Supreme Court on call-drop penalty is disappointing. Trai had allowed the users to claim compensation for dropped calls. Terming the regulation by Trai “arbitrary” and “unreasonable”, the apex court nixed the call-drop penalty move, stating that the law was framed without “intelligent care and deliberation”. The Supreme Court has held that the consumer may himself be at fault in the call-drop. The Supreme Court is right in its view when it says in the judgment that the assumption that the fault of call-drop lay ‘entirely’ with telcos is ‘erroneous’. That is why, it can be assumed, the Trai had limited the call-drop penalty to three per day. If it can be assumed that the consumers may be at fault, the Supreme Court has not said that the telcos are never at fault. Most of the times calls drop without any fault from consumers side. Natural justice demands that the benefit of doubt must be given to the consumers. While the interest of telecom operators has been protected, nothing has been said of extra cost incurred by the consumers whenever calls drop for no fault of their own. Poor quality of service by telcos goes unchallenged. Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MP, active on issues of net neutrality and internet & society has asserted that the Trai Act, last amended in 2000, must be reviewed and amended for stronger consumer protection. He is right.
Tax cash transactions
Apropos of the column “India’s missing income from the tax net” (FE, May 12) by Hardayal Singh, the challenge is to discourage the use of paper currency as any transaction done through banking channels is bound to leave a trail and can be traced while cash remains nearly untracable. The suggestion to levy a cash transaction tax can be considered with some modification. All bank accounts of an individual should be linked to the unique identity platform, Aadhaar, and any cash withdrawal exceeding, say, R3 lakh in a financial year should automatically attract a tax of 2% or 5%. This can also be taken as a parameter for selecting cases for scrutiny.