The Supreme Court today agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of telecom firm Vodafone India against TRAI's recent tariff regulations by which Inter-connection Usage Charges (IUC) has been revised. The new tariff structure, notified by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on February 23, has slashed by 30 per cent the amount that mobile operators pay to each other for calls made from one network to another.
The new measure will come into effect from March 1. A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu agreed to hear the plea of the private telecom regulator tomorrow after its counsel sought its urgent hearing and a stay on the regulations framed by TRAI.
"The applicant (Vodafone) states that the appeal is still pending before this court and resultantly, in the light of the order dated 13.04.2012, the TRAI could not have revised the IUC, though it has again done so.
Thus, the impugned decision cannot be given effect to (which is to take effect from 01.03.2015)," the plea said. It has said that the TRAI's decision be stayed till the pleas, pending before the apex court, are decided.
Under the new tariff regime, a mobile phone operator now needs to pay 14 paise a minute for each call terminating on a rival's network, compared with 20 paise earlier, TRAI has said in its order. IUC makes up about 20 per cent of mobile call tariff that a user pays.
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