New Delhi, May 11: The Supreme Court on Wednesday slashed down the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's call drop penalty regulation, which made it mandatory for the telecom companies to compensate consumers for call drops, stating that the directive is ultra virus, unreasonable and manifestari arbitrary. The TRAI had made it mandatory for the cellular operators to pay consumers Rs. one per call drop experienced on their networks, subject to a cap of Rs. three a day.
The telecom operators had approached the court seeking revocation of TRAI's regulation contending that it was a knee-jerk reaction which penalized them without proving any wrongdoing.
"The Supreme Court has rendered a historic judgment today by striking down the regulation in terms of which telecom operators were going to be charged for call drops they have struck down the regulation as being ultra virus, unreasonable and manifestari arbitrary and they also said that the procedure followed was entirely non-transparent," said senior council Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the telecos.
"The apex court has also asked that the Parliament should in fact frames regulation or a law in terms of which even sub-ordinate legislations be subjected to principal of transparency as is reflected in several judgment of American Courts, including the American Supreme Court and they have taken a que from the RTI act," he added. Sibal further said that the governments and ministers should not be populist when making decisions.
"If you want to please the people of India and want to become popular amongst them, do it in accordance of law, not outside the law," he said. The penalty, which was imposed on call originating service provider, came into force from January 1, 2016, for six months and was on trial basis. The Delhi High Court had earlier upheld call drop penalty and TRAI's power to legislate for consumers' benefits.