A Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission of Ahmedabad Rural has ordered leading telecom company Bharti Airtel to refund an amount of Rs 44.50 to a consumer for data loss, caused due to the blocking of internet services during the Patidar quota agitation in 2015. The commission, in its order dated July 25, asked the company to pay Anjana Brahmbhatt Rs 44.50, with a 12% interest, from August 26, 2015, for her data loss when the mobile internet services were suspended between August 27 and September 4, 2015 due to the Patidar quota agitation, which had turned violent. Also Read - Airtel 5G service rollout: Airtel and Tata Group partner for Made in India 5G networkAlso Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
Brahmbhatt had approached the commission after the company refused to refund the amount. The commission, in its order, maintained that not paying the refund amounted to an unfair trade practice. Brahmbhatt had paid Rs 178 for a 2GB internet package, valid for 28 days, on August 5. But, after the internet services were suspended in Ahmedabad district, through a circular issued by the police commissioner, she was unable to use the internet on her phone during the period of which she had bought the package, Brahmbhatt had said in her application.
She had also mentioned in her application that following the suspension of the services, she was unable to do online banking, shopping etc., besides being denied access to social media and instant messaging platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. The company had, however, argued that the services were suspended following an order of the police commissioner, which had instructed the telecom companies to block the services so that rumours were not spread and the law-and-order situation remained under control.
It had further contended that the interruption in the services was caused due to a government order and the company had nothing to do with it. The agitation by the members of the Patel community, seeking reservation under the OBC quota, turned violent on August 25, 2015 with clashes being reported from various parts of the city as the police resorted to baton-charging and firing teargas shells in order to control the situation. ALSO READ: Airtel to roll out 4G VoLTE services in India by end of March 2018
Clashes between the protesters and locals were reported from Vadaj, Vastrapur, Nikol and Paldi, when the former tried to enforce a bandh called by their community leader, Hardik Patel, after a mega rally.