Vodafone told the Delhi High Court that it would amend its plea to challenge the two TRAI orders giving a clean chit to the free offers of Reliance JIO (RJIO). The submission was made after RJIO contended before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva that Vodafone had not challenged the October 20, 2016 and February 2, 2017, decisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by which it was held that RJIO’s free offers did not violate any tariff norm. Also Read - Jio-Google partnership: JioPhone Next to new 5G collaboration, here are 5 key takeawaysAlso Read - Jio 5G launch livestream: How to watch JioPhone 5G, JioBook launch event online
Even the court told Vodafone that it can either say that TRAI took no action, in which case the regulator can be asked to take a decision, or the company can say the orders of TRAI were wrong and these will have to be challenged.
“It cannot be both, that they (TRAI) have done nothing and that they have passed an administrative order,” the court said. The new entrant in the telecom sector, RJIO, said the two orders of TRAI have been challenged by Idea and Airtel before the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). ALSO READ: Reliance Jio average download speed reduced by over 50% in January: TRAI
RJIO argued that Vodafone’s petition alleging inaction by TRAI against alleged violation of tariff orders by Reliance was not maintainable in high court and the telecom major ought to have moved TDSAT. TRAI, on the other hand, claimed that its letters of October last year and February this year were not orders that can be appealed before TDSAT.
The regulator said the two letters only communicated to Vodafone the finding arrived at by TRAI while disposing of the representations by the telecom major against RJIO’s free offers. However, the court was of the view that if TRAI examined the issues raised by Vodafone and other telecom companies against RJIO’s tariffs and came to a finding, then it is an order.
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