Vodafone files suit against Reliance Jio’s free offers
By Vamsi Krishna N : 30-Jan-2017
One of the largest telecom operators in India, Vodafone India, has today approached the Delhi High Court against the free offers of Reliance Jio alleging that the latter has violated tariff orders, directions and regulations stipulated by the telecom regulator TRAI.
The petition filed by Vodafone India has read, “That the free i.e. zero tariff plan/promotional offer of said Operator (Jio) with no charges at all for services, is ipso facto non-compliant with the 'floor' as stipulated by TRAI in its own tariff orders, is IUC non-compliant, predatory and discriminatory and thus violates the TRAIs tariff orders and regulations. It is submitted that the said promotional offer was and continues to be in blatant violation of cardinal regulatory principles as IUC charges being the floor for the retail tariffs.”
Furthermore, it is also alleged by the Vodafone that the Reliance Jio has also violated the 90 days upper limit fixed for any promotional offer and so the free offerings of Jio were illegal.
The petition alleged that “The free offerings were illegal and also violates the 90 days upper limit fixed for any promotional offer (with) 90 days expiring on September 18, 2016 (even if counted from June 21, 2016) and in any event on December 3, 2016. The respondent (TRAI) ignored petitioner's representations and effectively dealt with the same. The subsequent promotion offer proposed to be ending on March 31, 2017, is also in violation of, inter alia, the said principle of 'floor', as also the said 90 days up.”
Vodafone also mentioned that the reliance Jio has taken advantage of the inaction from the TRAI and continued its free services across India to amass millions of subscribers to its services.
The matter is held for hearing by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva on February 1, citing the reason that Reliance Jio has not been made a party in the matter. Though later, on the oral plea of Vodafone India, Reliance Jio has been made a party.