The apex court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by two cellular operator companies, challenging a Delhi High Court order in which it sustained the decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) making it necessary for the cellular firms to pay consumers Re.1 per call drop experienced on their networks.
The high court permitted the telecom regulator to bring its decision into affect from January 1.
The order by the court came while dismissing pleas by Cellular Operators Association of India, a body of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom firms.
Telcom companies stressed that providing compensation to consumers amounted to meddling with companies' tariff structure, which might be done by order only, not regulation.
High Court, while sweeping aside the argument of telcos, had also felt that the compensation for call drops was capped at Rs 3 a day.
It said the TRAI's regulation authorised only compensating the calling consumer not the receiver.
Previously, the regulator had told the high court that consumers have a right to get remunerated for call drops. They said this was different from the quality of service guidelines that cellular service providers have to follow.