The telecom regulator, last week, blocked Vodafone Idea and Airtel’s respective premium plans that offer faster data speeds and priority services to high-paying postpaid customers.

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Money Telecom Friday, July 17, 2020 - 19:31

In interim relief for Vodafone Idea Ltd, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal has stayed the TRAI's interim directive to withhold the telco's premium plan 'RedX' with immediate effect.

In its order, the tribunal has said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may proceed with its inquiry and pass final orders, after giving Vodafone Idea an opportunity to explain any alleged violation.

The TDSAT, in its order, noted that the only justification by the TRAI that suspension would facilitate detailed examination is found to be devoid of any merits. During submissions, it has not been shown that for detailed examination by the TRAI, it is necessary to withhold or suspend the Vodafone RedX offer forthwith, it said.

"Hence, the interim direction in Paragraph 2 of the impugned letter dated 11.07.2020 is stayed until further orders. But it is made clear that it would be open for the TRAI to proceed with the inquiry and pass final orders in accordance with law at the earliest after ensuring that requirements of natural justice are satisfied and the appellant is given opportunity to explain any alleged contravention of extant directions of the authority," the order said.

It further said that if Vodafone Idea has not filed its response to the questionnaire, it may do so by July 22. Such response, if filed within the extended period, shall be duly considered by the TRAI for the purpose of further inquiry, it said.

According to the bench, since the inquiry does not require any interference, no interim stay needs to be passed.

Citing violation of norms and likely impact on the quality of services for other subscribers out of the concerned plans, the regulator, through a letter dated July 11 to both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, blocked their respective plans of 'RedX' and 'Platinum', that offer faster data speeds and priority services to high-paying postpaid customers.

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