COAI Biased, Undemocratic; Needs A Complete Overhaul : Jio

Reliance-Jio-traffic-asymmetry-issueIn a scathing letter, Reliance Jio has accused the GSM body of bias, lopsided and serve the vested interest of three incumbent operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, and want the association’s rules, regulations and processes to be completely overhauled.

“COAI Regulations are overwhelmingly biased and lopsided and have been framed to sub serve the vested interests of the three incumbent dominant operators, namely, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea,” Jio stated in a letter addressed to COAI Chairman Gopal Vittal, also the CEO of Bharti Airtel, and Director General Rajan S Mathews.

The letter is also marked to telecom minister and TRAI chairman besides many others including other members of COAI.

Jio has also suggested that the overhaul and amendment of the GSM body association should be carried by retired judges of the Supreme Court.

“RJIL seeks a thorough overhaul and amendment of COAI Regulations and COAI Process by appointing a committee consisting of three retired Hon’ble Judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to make sure that both fall in line with fundamental democratic principles of reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency including with provisions for adequate measures to prevent any abuse in future,” the letter dated 23 September stated.

Taking a step further, the Mukesh Ambani led telecom firm has said COAI, as an association, violates the basic principle of Indian Societies Registration Act onn the principle of offering ‘One member -one vote’ rights.

COAI has differential voting rights for its members.

“COAI Regulations are also in breach of the Societies Registration Act, 1860.  In addition, COAI regulations are also in violation of the established legal principles laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in relation to governance of similar societies,” Jio added.

Jio further accused that COAI is being misused by the dominant telecom operators and members like itself are getting a raw deal.

“There is no doubt that, COAI in the garb of an independent platform is being flagrantly misused by the IDOs to freely indulge in cartelization, abuse their dominant position, thwart competition, and act against public interest,” Ji said.

“The IDOs use of COAI Regulations, especially, the manner in which voting rights are skewed in favour of the IDOs giving them the absolute control to influence any or all of the decisions of COAI would abysmally fall foul of Competition Law for perpetrating anticompetitive activities. COAI Regulations has thus rendered COAI vulnerable to actions for serious charges of abuse of dominance, anticompetitive behavior etc.”

A response from COAI is due for sure, which is expected anytime soon.



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