New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT today disposed of two petitions challenging tariff hike by three major telecom players Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea in August 2007, after observing that the charges has come down from those levels.
“Today, the factual position is that such rates and rates of other telecom services have drastically come down. Thus, this petition has become infructuous and is accordingly disposed of,” said TDSAT chairman Justice Arun Kumar.
During the proceedings of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, counsels appearing for the telecos submitted that the tariff hike by the companies in August last year has become a thing of past and current prices are much below to the rates challenged in the petitions.
They added that the after issuance of new licences by DoT, the sector is now gearing up for more competition and prices would further come down.
Moreover, Justice Kumar also observed that fixing the tariff was not tribunal’s work.
Two Delhi-based consumer organisations Telecom Users Group of India and Telecom Watchdog had filed a petition seeking TDSAT’s direction alleging that the three telcos have formed a cartel and increased local call charges by 20% along with 20-32% increase on ISD calls.
However, TRAI made its stand clear on this issue saying that the charges were with in its forebearance limit and there was no urgency to intervene in that.