4 May : The Supreme Court on Monday stayed telecom tribunal TDSAT’s order that quashed regulator TRAI’s directions on regulating domestic leased circuit, a key telecommunication resource.
A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari while issuing notice to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Sanchar Nigam Ltd (MTNL) stayed the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s ruling that held disputes resolution was solely in its (TDSAT’s) jurisdiction.
Domestic leased circuits is a key telecommunication resource used by various operators, corporates and information technology enabled services (ITES) sector for data, voice, video and internet connectivity.
The Telecom Regulator Authority of India in its notification had mandated BSNL and MTNL to open up domestic leased circuit to private cellular operators for the last-mile connectivity.
Terming TRAI’s directives as "arbitrary and irrational and void ab initio", the tribunal quashed TRAI’s directions of 2007 and directed the regulator not to encroach upon its jurisdiction.
Moreover, the regulator had also directed the PSUs to confirm availability of the circuits within 30 days of any formal request by the private operator. Before TRAI’s directives, last-mile connectivity was done through commercial negotiations.