TRAI grapples with court cases even as new regulatory framework comes into effect

MUMBAI: Even as the new pricing regime has come into force from 1st February, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is still grappling with court cases from angry local cable operators (LCOs) who are unhappy about the revenue share model mooted under the new regulation.

Even as the Calcutta High Court vacated the stay order on 31st January and Kerala High Court had earlier dismissed a petition filed by LCOs, fresh petitions have come up before different High Courts.

Cable operators have challenged the new tariff order and regulations in Gujarat High Court and the Telangana High Court. The Gujarat HC has issued a notice to the TRAI to file on the petition filed by the LCOs. The Telangana High Court has heard arguments and has reserved judgement in the matter.

Hearing a plea filed by Cable Operators Association of Gujarat (COAG), the Gujarat HC on Friday posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks. The COAG is aggrieved over the revenue share arrangement mooted by the TRAI.

The Telangana cable operators argued that the regulations are arbitrary and were issued without taking them into confidence. The TRAI represented by the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) K Lakshman said that the tariff order and the regulations were framed after taking into consideration the orders passed by the courts.

He also noted that the framework has not been stayed by HC and those that had stayed them have already vacated the stay orders.

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