TDSAT Admits COAI Plea Against Trai Directive On ISD Facility

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New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT has admitted GSM players' lobby group COAI's plea challenging Trai's directive asking operators to de-activate the ISD facility in pre-paid numbers and restore it only after a subscriber gives his explicit consent to avail this facility.

A TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha has admitted the plea. The matter would now come on October 8 for next hearing.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also asked Trai not to take any coercive action against operators.

It also issued notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India directing to file reply.

In its petition COAI has termed Trai's direction as "irrational, unreasonable, arbitrary, illegal, and without application of mind".

"The telecom regulator has directed all operators to take far excessive, disproportionate and retrograde steps to address a far less problems of missed calls from abroad, without even considering," COAI's plea said.

Issuing a direction on September 7 this year, Trai had asked all operators to inform pre-paid customers within 10 days by sending SMS that their ISD calling facility would be disconnected after two months and it could be continued only after they their consent only.

Trai had issued this directive following complaints from consumers about missed calls from international telephone numbers which are often premium numbers charging high tariff, prompting the consumers to make call to such numbers.

During the proceedings, Senior advocate Maninder Singh appearing for COAI said that Trai's order was irrational and arbitrary.

However, Trai counsel Saket Singh said the order was issued in the larger benefit of the customers. People are getting missed calls from international numbers and are paying higher tariff unknowingly after calling back as those are premium numbers.

Source: PTI
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