A week after a telecom tribunal quashed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) rules on predatory pricing and discounted offers, the regulator has appealed the tribunal’s verdict in the Supreme Court, arguing that it dismantles the regulatory framework for tariff assessment and places consumers at the mercy of service providers.
The regulator, in an appeal filed on Friday, has also asserted that the tribunal’s judgement hinders it from performing its statutory functions. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had on 13 December quashed Trai’s predatory pricing order, in a relief for Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd, which had complained that the rules would benefit rival Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
Trai had set the new rules arbitrarily and without deliberation or effective consultation, TDSAT had ruled. The tribunal rejected Trai’s new definition of “significant market player” (SMP), besides sparing telecom firms from disclosing on their websites segmented offers or tariff discounts aimed at retaining customers.