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Madras High Court Gives Relief to Vodafone in TRAI Tariff Case

The Madras High Court has ordered the telecom regulator not to take any coercive or penal action against Vodafone India, while staying the regulator’s demand that the carrier put all its tariff plans on the website, including those offered to retain individual customers.

There will be an order of injunction restraining the respondent authorities (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) from taking any coercive and/or penal measures against the petitioner (Vodafone) for non-compliance of paragraph 4(d) of the impugned communication being F.No.301-7(27)/2017- F&EA, dated March 7, 2018.

All questions, including the question of territorial jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the writ petition are kept open, the bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose stated.

The court will now hear the matter on April 13. It gave TRAI time till March 28 to file counter-affidavits, and till April 6 to file rejoinders.

The interim order effectively allows the telco – and possibly other older carriers Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular – to give segmented offers to specific subscribers who it wants to retain, without offering that plan to other users, till the case is settled.

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