Delhi HC Stays TRAI Direction To Reinstate Packs Under Old Tariff Regime

The Delhi High Court today stayed a direction passed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) directing DTH providers to reinstate their old packs/plans for long duration pack (LDP) subscribers and also to desist from migrating any more LDP subscribers to the new tariff regime.

The order was passed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao in an application by Tata Sky challenging a May 1 direction issued by TRAI to this effect. The application forms part of the petition by several DTH providers against TRAI’s new regulatory framework for DTH and cable TV services.

Tata Sky claimed that this direction was contrary to TRAI’s own new tariff policy.

In its application filed through Advocate Rishi Agrawala, Tata Sky states that pursuant to the change in policy, there was a complete migration of subscribers from LDPs namely, quarterly, six monthly and annually, to the new regime, in spite of resistance and criticism from the consumers.

Consequently, all the subscribers adopted the new regime by subscribing to either a limited number of channels or choosing a “Best Fit Plan” in terms of a TRAI direction dated February 12.

“The TRAI now by way of the Direction dated 01.05.2019 is attempting to once again upset this position and arbitrarily reverse provision of services to subscribers as per the old Agreements which are in existence anymore”, the application sates.

It has further contended that as a result of the May 1 direction, two parallel regimes would come into existence and the distribution platform operators would also be exposed to huge losses.

The Court was also informed that the migrated subscribers have already been provided a refund of their balance amount in their subscription account. Any further change would lead to a “colossal number of consumer disputes”.

Tata Sky thus sought a stay on the May 1 direction, submitting that D2H providers as well as consumers would suffer irreparable harm and injury if a stay was not granted.

While staying the operation of the direction, the Court directed TRAI to file its response to the application.―Bar & Bench

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