As telecom operators heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court struck down the watchdog’s order on call drops on Wednesday, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government will continue to keep a check on service providers. “Consumers expect the mobile operators to provide good services, and as a minister I will keep a check that they are getting it,” the minister told reporters outside parliament. Also Read - TRAI issues a decision to end 100 free SMS per day rule
In its ruling, the apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman struck down the December 16, 2015 notification of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on call drops, as it set aside a Delhi High Court judgement that had upheld it earlier. Unreasonable, arbitrary and non-transparent were the reasons assigned by the apex court. Also Read - TRAI says mobile number will remain 10 digits, has no plan for 11 digits: ReportAlso Read - TRAI questions Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, MTNL for selectively extending prepaid recharges
Telecom operators had been maintaining that the watchdog’s order was not only populist but also sought to penalize them to accommodate the customers, although there were several reasons for the same — and many not in their hands entirely. Reacting to the verdict, the telecom operators said they are pleased with the Supreme Court decision.
“We are very pleased with the Supreme court Verdict. It affirms what we have been saying all along,” Rajan S. Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India, told IANS, alluding to a host of factors being responsible for the menace of call drops.
“Now, let us move forward and fix the real issues — like having more cell towers, affordable spectrum and working with the local authorities to get the infrastructure in place,” Rajan said, ahead of the next round of auction for airwaves.