A PIL was Thursday moved in Delhi High Court seeking enforcement of existing laws on call drops and waiver of full amount of a call when it is dropped. The petition was mentioned before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva which directed the registry to list the matter in the court of Chief Justice G Rohini. The bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, which is hearing a plea filed by cellular operators against Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) regulation mandating them to compensate consumers for call drops, listed the PIL for hearing on January 11. Also Read - TRAI's new SMS regulations will prevent spam, fraudulent messages: Here's how
The petition by NGO Maulik Bharat Trust alleged that the telecom regulator has failed to take action against cellular operators despite the increasing number of call drops. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questioned
“Mobile companies are continuing to charge for dropped calls even when calls are not complete and service is not given, but TRAI failed to take action against them as per law. “Due to inaction on part of TRAI, telecom service providers (TSPs) too have become lackadaisical, especially with respect to quality of services,” the petition, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, claimed. Also Read - Airtel gains most mobile subscribers in January 2021 when compared to Jio, Vi: TRAI
The NGO has contended that while the telecom companies continue to spend crores of rupees in advertising and readily compete against each other, in the present instance they were protesting against a “very mild” maximum penalty of Rs 3 a day per customer for call drops.
It has also alleged that Department of Telecommunication and TRAI “have extended many out of turn favours such as allowing of sharing of spectrum” and installation of towers on government buildings to assist the TSPs in curbing call drops “but it has failed to stop the call drop menace”.
Apart from enforcement of existing laws and waiver of full amount on dropping of calls, the PIL has sought payment of compensation to both caller and receiver as well as crediting of “previous year’s illegal gains because of undue charging of dropped calls by the TSPs in the Telecommunication Consumers Education and Protection Fund”.
The NGO has also sought that the telecom companies be directed to provide details of dropped calls to the consumers by way of SMS and in telephone bill.