The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Thursday asked mobile network operator Idea Cellular to deposit Rs 2.97 crore for overcharging its subscribers for making calls to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited networks, PTI reported on Friday.
The Trai directed the operator to deposit it in the Telecom Consumers Education and Protection Fund within 15 days.
In May 2005, the Department of Telecommunications had changed licences to allow inter-service area connectivity among telecom operators in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. As per the amendment, calls within these four states were treated as local calls.
Trai said that despite the DoT move, several private GSM operators charged higher rates for calls to BSNL and MTNL networks. In February 2006, Trai asked mobile network operators to refund excess amount that they charged to their customers. The Cellular Operators Association of India appealed this ruling. But the Supreme Court dismissed the COAI’s appeal in January 2015.
Idea Cellular had said that since data call records of the period were unavailable, the excess amount charged could not be refunded.