TRAI’s ongoing battle against telecom operators in the Supreme Court has received a major setback with the authority’s order to reconsider its stand on call drops. The ramifications of this are unknown as of now, but could lead to a modified penalty scheme.
To recollect, service providers had decided to appeal to the Supreme Court in order to overthrow the Delhi High Court’s decision to allow call drop compensation. A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph has now said that TRAI did not take technical papers which dealt with the reasons for the issue into consideration on the day the regulations were formulated.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court has asked TRAI to take these documents into account and submit an affidavit on whether it would consider changing the system or stick to the regulations as they are. As per PTI, the body will further have to offer a detailed explanation for either decision.
TRAI Chairman RS Sharma on his part has confirmed that TRAI will be complying with the Supreme Court’s order. He did not offer any more insights given the case is still sub-judice. However, he did announce that the authority was planning to hold another round of call drop test drives in India sometime in April.
TRAI had found no improvements in call drops the last time it had held a test drive back in December last year. Even Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has decided to personally conduct tests for the issue in Delhi. He will be accompanied by Telecom Secretary J S Deepak and BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava.
Sharma also declared that TRAI is going to come out with a consultation paper on net neutrality soon and will finally reach a conclusion on the matter within 2 or 3 months.