Reliance Jio to Delhi High Court: TRAI Held Free Offers as Legitimate

Reliance Jio to Delhi High Court: TRAI Held Free Offers as Legitimate

Reliance Jio (RJio) on Tuesday told Delhi High Court that telecom regulator TRAI has held that its free offers to subscribers was perfectly legitimate.

The submission was made before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva when telecom major Vodafone India’s plea, alleging that RJio “blatantly violated” TRAI’s tariff orders, directions and regulations, came up for hearing.

Vodafone has claimed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) failed to prohibit RJio from violating the tariff orders by allowing it to continue with its free offers.

However, the court could not take up the matter on Tuesday and listed it for hearing on February 21, after it was informed that the same issue would be taken up by the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on February 20.

On February 20, TRAI has to clarify before TDSAT whether RJio had informed it and its subscribers of the two free offers – Jio Welcome Offer and Happy New Year Offer – being “distinct”.

The tribunal has sought the clarification after fresh appeals were filed by Airtel and Idea Cellular against TRAI’s January 31 decision giving a clean chit to Jio tariffs.

On February 1, the last date of hearing, TRAI had told the high court that it has taken a decision regarding the representations of various telecom service providers against the free offers of RJio and it would be communicated within a day to all of them.

Today, RJio told the court that its free offers “have been held as perfectly legitimate” by TRAI.

Vodafone, in its plea in the high court, has claimed that TRAI has not implemented its own circulars which lay down that all tariffs must be compliant of interconnection usage charges (IUC) and be non-discriminatory and non-predatory.

It had earlier argued before the court that each day’s delay by TRAI in implementing its tariff orders was causing a huge loss to the company.

RJio, on the other hand, had contended that on October 20 last year, TRAI had decided that its free offer from September 5, 2016 to December 3, 2016, was not non-compliant of IUC, not predatory and not discriminatory and this order had not been challenged by Vodafone.

Vodafone, in its plea, has sought direction to TRAI to “fully implement/ensure compliance of each and all regulatory and legal principles” laid down in the tariff orders, directions and regulations by the regulator or any other authority as well as to ensure that RJio does not violate them.

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