The Delhi high court upheld a decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which made it mandatory for a cellular operator to compensate a consumer by a rupee for every call dropped, with a cap of three calls compensated per day.The division bench comprising of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayanth Nath stated that cellular operators would have to compensate aggrieved consumers and in its conclusion added, “TRAI was at liberty to take appropriate steps in accordance with law for compliance of the same.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench also dismissed petitions filed by the Cellular Operators association of India (COAI), a body of unified telecom service providers and 21 telecom operators that include Vodafone, Bharati Airtel and Reliance.The court stated that since it had not stayed the notification during the hearing of the petition, the telecom operators would have to fulfil the obligations as stated in the notification from January 1, 2016. There is no dispute about the power of TRAI to make regulation under section 36 of the Act. The impugned regulation has been made in exercise of the power conferred under the Act, keeping in mind the paramount interest of the consumer,” the bench observed.In October 2015, after TRAI had added this amendment, COAI had filed a petition in court stating that this directive was “arbitrary and whimsical.” Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harish Salve and others representing COAI had argued that according to the TRAI regulations, the cellular operators had a cap that allowed call drops up to 2% of all calls made. According to the figure submitted by TRAI – 800,000 calls were dropped, which made the limit and number of calls dropped well within the stipulation.India is one of the largest mobile user markets after china. The fast growth coupled with unproportionate expansion has increased the number of calls dropped.In their arguments TRAI through their counsels Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, Sanjay Kapur among others argued that this amount (Re1/call max upto 3 calls) was merely a deterrent and not a penalty upon the telecom providers. The object behind this compensation was reasoned out by saying that a “call dropped” tantamounts to a deficiency in a service.After TRAI says the policy was created after it started received numerous complaints with regard to calls dropped in the first quarter of 2015

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Delhi HC upholds TRAI’s notification