Reliance Jio free services: Idea also moves to TDSAT against Trai

Idea’s petition seeks to stop Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd from continuing free services till 31 March


According to a Trai official, the authority has sought opinion of attorney general Mukul Rohatgi on the matter related to Reliance Jio’s extension of free services. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
According to a Trai official, the authority has sought opinion of attorney general Mukul Rohatgi on the matter related to Reliance Jio’s extension of free services. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Idea Cellular Ltd, India’s third largest wireless operator, on Wednesday filed a petition in the appellate telecom tribunal against the telecom regulator. The petition seeks to stop Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd from continuing free services till 31 March, a person aware of the development said, requesting not to be identified.

Mint has not seen a copy of the petition. A company spokesperson refused to comment on the development.

In December, Bharti Airtel Ltd, the largest telco in the country had moved the tribunal over the same issue.

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When asked for his comments, R.S. Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said, “Everybody in this country is free to move to court. The Constitution provided them this right. We are looking into the matter of Jio’s promotional services and the presentations / arguments made by other operators on Jio’s plans. We will decide the issue very soon.”

Bharti Airtel, which moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) in December against Trai, filed an additional affidavit last week. Airtel accused Trai of acting as a “mute spectator” and killing competition in the telecom sector by allowing Reliance Jio to offer free services. Rival telcos say these services are predatory in nature.

ALSO READ | Reliance Jio free services: Airtel accuses Trai of being ‘mute spectator’

According to a Trai official, the authority has sought opinion of attorney general Mukul Rohatgi on the matter related to Reliance Jio’s extension of free services. “AG’s opinion is just an internal process of Trai and so, we have referred the matter to him for his opinion on questions raised by operators,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

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