The Delhi Excessive Court docket has refused to intervene with TRAI’s advice for imposing a penalty of Rs. 1,050 crore on two Vodafone firms for allegedly denying inter-connectivity to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) below an Interconnection Settlement executed between them.
The excessive courtroom famous that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) October 21, 2016 advice, which has been challenged right here can also be below problem earlier than the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), and tribunals are skilled our bodies constituted below statute to determine the disputes arising below that statute.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, in its Could 24 judgment, mentioned the TDSAT has been empowered to cope with all disputes arising below the TRAI Act.
The Central authorities had handed an order on September 29, 2021 imposing a penalty on the petitioner firms for violation of the provisions of licence settlement and requirements of High quality of Service (QOS) rules of fundamental phone service (wireline) and mobile cellular phone service rules, 2009.
“After the tribunal offers the conclusion that the order dated September 29, 2021 handed by the respondent no.2 (authorities) is just not sustainable in regulation, then robotically the advice dated October 21, 2016 which is below problem within the prompt writ petitions could be put aside.
“This courtroom finds appreciable drive within the arguments superior by the senior counsel for the respondents that any observations made by this courtroom within the prompt writ petitions may have an antagonistic impression on the Telecom Petitions which have been filed earlier than the TDSAT,” the bench mentioned.
The excessive courtroom disposed of the petitions filed by Vodafone Cellular Providers and Vodafone Thought and made it clear that it has not made any observations on the deserves of the case.
“It’s at all times open for the tribunal to determine the problem on deserves, together with the advice dated October 21, 2016 which is below problem within the prompt petitions,” it mentioned.
It additionally famous that the TDSAT has already stayed the September 2021 order.
On September 21, 2016, TRAI issued the a advice stating that the petitioners had been at fault for not offering Level of Interconnections (POI) to RJIL, and beneficial imposition of a penalty of Rs. 50 crore per circle for 21 Licensed Service Areas (LSA) the place POI congestion exceeded the allowable restrict of 0.5 %.
The petitioners mentioned they requested TRAI to withdraw the advice, however to no avail after which they moved the excessive courtroom.
Vodafone has challenged the advice made by TRAI to the Secretary, Division of Telecommunication, for penal motion, contending that the advice was opposite to regulation and deserved to be struck down.
TRAI opposed the petitions saying they’re untimely at this stage and non-maintainable.
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