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Delhi HC dismisses Vodafone plea seeking Trai cost model of interconnection charges

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-09-2017 Shreya Agarwal

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Vodafone India Ltd against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), that demanded the regulator hand over the cost model of interconnection usage charges.

Interconnect charges are paid on inter-network calls- by the call originating operator network to the terminating operator network.

In 2016, Vodafone had moved the Delhi high court against a Trai consultation paper on these charges. Idea Cellular Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd also moved court soon after.

Basing its plea on grounds of transparency under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, Vodafone argued that not sharing the cost model with telecom companies amounted to a violation of principles of natural justice.

ALSO READ: Would Vodafone comply with Delhi high court order?

Vodafone relied on a prior Supreme Court judgment on call drops, which struck down a Trai regulation that made it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops, and argued that such regulations by Trai need to be struck down by the court for being arbitrary and non-transparent.

A legislation regulating interconnect usage charges, which are 14 paise per minute as of now, is expected soon.

While operators Vodafone India, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are against lowering charges, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd wants the charge to be scrapped.

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