TDSAT asks BSNL not to raise infra charges retrospectively
Telecom tribunal TDSAT in an interim order has asked state-controlled firm BSNL not to increase infrastructure charges retrospectively from April 2009. ‘Prima facie, we are of the view that it cannot be so done. Having regard to the fact that if the charges are to be increased and that too with retrospective effect, the purpose could not be achieved by taking recourse to clause 5.3.3 alone,’ said the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal [TDSAT]. It also did not agreed with BSNL’s submission that as per the agreement, PSU can raise the charges from time to time. ‘The words from ‘time to time’ by itself do not confer any authority on BSNL herein to give a retrospective effect to the charges levied by way of rental or infrastructural charges. ‘The increase in the rate could have been effected only at the time of renewal of the agreement, i.e., with effect from April 2013,’ said TDSAT. TDSAT’s order came over a batch of petitions filed by – Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Vodafone South and Vodafone Digilink.