HC sets aside competition panel order on RJio’s plea against three operators

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 21, 2017


Dealing a blow to industrialist Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm, the Bombay High Court has quashed a ruling by the country’s anti-competition body that had ordered a probe against three incumbent operators.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had ordered a detailed probe against incumbents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, and industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for alleged denial of network connectivity to RJio.

When contacted, the counsel for Bharti Airtel, Harsh Kaushik confirmed that the CCI’s order has been “quashed”.

He, however, declined to provide further details as he was yet to receive the copy of the final order.

“The bench said that CCI does not have jurisdiction in the issues raised in the complaint, and this has to be heard by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),” a source close to the development said.

“Further, it was also of opinion that CCI took into account irrelevant considerations and ignored relevant ones,” the source said, adding that now RJio or CCI have the right to move the Supreme Court in the issue.

In September 2016, RJio launched commercial operations across all the 22 telecom circles in the country. Following which, the company alleged that incumbents of cartelisation, denying accessibility to network and rejecting Mobile Number Portability requests.

In the letters addressed to TRAI Chairman RS Sharma, RJio said these were done in blatant disregard to license terms and obligations and TRAI regulations.

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Published on September 21, 2017
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