Telecom giant Bharti Airtel has moved a telecom dispute tribunal TDSAT against TRAI that allowed Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond 90 days. The telecom giant ahs also alleged that the TRAI has been a ‘mute spectator’ to the violations.
A 25-page petition has been filed before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. The petition by Airtel has asked the quasi-judicial body to direct TRAI to make sure that Reliance Jio does not provide its free voice and data plans beyond December 3, 2016. Reliance Jio had initially launched the inaugural free data and voice plans from September 4, 2016 and earlier this month, it announced an extension in the offer till March 31, 2017.
Airtel has argued that the free services continue to violate the directions of the TRAI in terms of directions, Tariff Orders and the Regulations with TRAI as a mute spectator. During a hearing on December 23, 2016, a Jio counsel was present and asked to be impleaded as a party in the case. TRAI has said that it needs ten more days to take the decision. The next date for the hearing has been fixed on January 6, 2016. Airtel in the petition said, “The TRAI further without affording any reasoning baldly, cryptically and in a non-transparent manner in violation of Section 11(4) of the TRAI Act concluded that the Tariff Plans offered by the said TSP are not non-compliant with IUC and are not predatory and discriminatory at present. The impugned decision of TRAI is thus bad in law and deserves to be quashed”.
The appeal has been filed against TRAI’s October 20, 2016 decision and also against its continued failure to fulfill its statutary obligation under the TRAI Act.
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