TELECOM REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF INDIA Vs. M/S. BHARTI AIRTEL LIMITED
LAWS(SC)-2020-11-13
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on November 06,2020

Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India Appellant
VERSUS
M/s. Bharti Airtel Limited Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)Pending the appeals against the final order passed by Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as TDSAT), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as 'TRAI'), which is the appellant in the appeals, has come up with this application for an interim direction to the respondents to disclose information/details sought by the appellant regarding segmented offers.
(2.)We have heard Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General for the applicant/appellant namely TRAI, Mr. Aspi Chinoy, learned senior counsel for respondent.
(3.)Sans unnecessary details, the circumstances leading to the present application can be summarised as follows:-
a) In exercise of powers conferred by Section 11(1)(b)(i) read with Section 11(2) of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'), TRAI issued an order namely the Telecommunication Tariff (63rdAmendment) Order, 2018 dated 16.02.2018;

b) Challenging the said Tariff Order, Bharti Airtel Limited, Idea Cellular Limited and Vodafone Mobile Services Limited, filed appeals in Telecom Appeal Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of 2018 before the TDSAT;

c) Primarily, the challenge was to the "Reporting Requirements" and "Significant Market Power" (for short SMP). Yet another grievance was about the insistence of TRAI about the disclosure of segmented discounts/ concessions;

d) Pending appeals before TDSAT, the Telecom Service Providers sought interim stay of the Tariff Order. TDSAT issued an interim arrangement on 24.04.2018 staying the relevant clauses relating to the Reporting Requirements and the definition of SMP. However, the Tribunal permitted TRAI to ask for details of segmented discounts/concessions for analysis. At the same time the service providers were exempted from disclosing the names of their customers and other sensitive information;

e) Challenging the interim arrangement so issued by TDSAT on 24.04.2018, TRAI filed writ petitions before the High Court of Delhi. By a judgment dated 04.05.2018, the writ petitions were dismissed, however with a request to the Tribunal to dispose of the appeals as expeditiously as possible;

f) Thereafter, TDSAT heard the appeals finally and allowed them partially by a final order dated 13.12.2018. By this order, TDSAT set aside the Telecom Tariff 63rd Amendment Order in so far as it changes the concepts of SMP, Non-predation and the related provisions;

g) It is against the said final order of TDSAT that TRAI has come up with the above Civil Appeals;

h) On 21.01.2019 the Appeals were admitted. However, on the prayer for stay, this Court recorded:-

"There will be no stay of the impugned judgment except to the extent of remand".

i) Thereafter the appellant namely TRAI has come up with this application in I.A.No.46116 of 2020 seeking an interim direction to the service providers to disclose information/ details sought by the appellant regarding the segmented offers.

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