Madras High Court issued a notice to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) and Government for suddenly preventing Aircel from operating in South India. This move comes after a PILwas herd in Madras High Court requesting the court to issue direction for the resumption of Aircel telecom services in Tamil Nadu as soon as possible.
G.Saravanakumar the petitioner in above mentioned Public Interest Litigation approached Madras High Court requesting the court to issue directions to resume the services of Aircel in Tamil Nadu. Petitioner had been a loyal and satisfied customer of Aircel since past 10 years. On 21st February with any prior information services of Aircel came to a sudden standstill across Chennai. He later came across a statement released by the head of Aircel informing him that that out of nine thousand mobile phone network towers owned by firms only two thousand and five hundred were operational and working. Remaining six thousand five hundred could not be used in spite of being in working capacity due to default in the payment of rent by the company. This led to widespread disruption in services of Aircel across the State.
The common folks of the state suffered immensely as disruption of Aircel services made it very difficult for them to avail welfare and government schemes such as LPG connections as mobile numbers listed in such services were not working. Petitioner submitted that more than 25 lakh subscribers have been affected in Chennai by the sudden stoppage of telecom and data services by the cellular company. This is highly unethical and should have been viewed seriously by the government and Trai. Moreover, Petitioner also submitted that around 8 lakh subscribers of Aircel have already applied for mobile portability which could not be completed due to a sudden stoppage in services of Aircel. Sudden stoppage of Aircel services have left certain people with no other means of connectivity Furthermore, this move of government and TRAI have made it impossible for dissatisfied customers to port their existing numbers to another mobile operator. Despite repeated complaints and inquiries no action has been taken submitted the petitioner. The main issue in the above-mentioned petition is that:
Is it allowed and ethical for TRAI and government to suddenly stop services of a telecom provider causing hardship to common people?
The decision of the Case
The court issued a notice to Trai and Government and set March 19th as the date for Trai and Government to file their counter reply.