Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

SC issues notice on RCom’s plea challenging TDSAT order directing refund of unspent prepaid balance

The plea stated that a total amount of approximately 8.1 crore was the unspent prepaid balance of 4.9 crore customers who did not opt for porting despite ample notices given by RCom

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the telecom regulator on an appeal by Anil Ambani led- Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) challenging an order of the telecom appellate tribunal directing it to refund the unspent prepaid balance to its prepaid mobile subscribers.These included those prepaid subscribers who opted for porting and also those who could not port or who did not wish to port their numbers before disconnection of service.

A bench headed by Justice N.V Ramana issued notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) after hearing arguments from RCom’s counsels on how the telecom authority could not have directed for the refund in the absence of any law or regulations on this.

“The impugned judgment is has been passed without appreciating the fact that directions and the letters issued by Trai are contrary to the terms of the licence conditions, regulations", the plea stated.

The plea stated that a total amount of approximately 8.1 crore was the unspent prepaid balance of 4.9 crore subscribers customers who did not opt for porting despite ample notices given by RCom.

On 29 November, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) dismissed RCom’s plea challenging a series of Trai’s directions on the grounds of limitation and merit. RCom had challenged this in the apex court.

RCom had pulled out its 2G/GSM services in various circles including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and extended a 30 day advance notice to its subscribers.

(Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.)

Close