HC allows telecom companies to hold contests

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today stayed the order of Delhi State Consumer Commission, which restrained mobile service providers from holding contests or lotteries as part of their promotional activities.

Justice Ravinder Bhatt heard the contentions of the telecom major Vodafone Essar and Cellular Operators Association of India, who had jointly filed a petition, stating that the interim order passed by the Consumer Commission should be stayed till it passes its final orders.

The court suspended the Consumer Commission's interim order till it passes the final order and also said the telecom companies can approach it for relief against the final order of the Commission.

The Commission is to hear the case on September 25. On August 22, the Commission had passed an interim order restraining all telecom companies from offering promotional schemes like contests or lotteries holding that it was not in the subscribers' interest.

Challenging the order of the Commission, petitioners' counsel Rajeev Nayaar said, ''The company was not given an opportunity to be heard and an ex-parte order was issued against all telecom companies against whom there was no complaint.'' The interim order was on a complaint filed by Society of Catalysts, an NGO, against Vodafone Essar offering free gold coins and bumper prize of Maruti SX4 car by lucky draw to its subscribers.

Terming the company's scheme as an unfair trade practice, the Commission said such offers were not in the interest of subscribers but were intended to ensure that users make more calls and generate additional revenues for the operators.


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