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DD Sathe (Contract Management)     13 September 2009

Complaint against MTNL in consumer court

Can MTNL be subjected to complaint in consumer forum?



 19 Replies

Sachin Bhatia (Advocate)     13 September 2009

Yes, you can file a consumer complaint against the MTNL.

1 Like


 You can file a case against MTNL in Consumer court.

1 Like

Isaac Gabriel (Advocate)     14 September 2009

MTNL is one among the service providers and in case deficiency in service , proceedings could be intiated at consumer forums

1 Like

Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     14 September 2009

....i agree with all my ld. friends, but i ve heard from few of my lawyer friends, that BSNL/ MTNL have been held, by the SC, to be not covered by Consumer Protection Act.....m still looking for that judgment...the moment if find it i ll make a mention.

1 Like

Sumiteshwar Choudhary (lawyer)     14 September 2009

 No , my friends Supreme Court has clearly mentioned in a recent judgement  that a Telecom Company is subject to arbitration under The Telegraph Act and not to be subject of any Consumer Dispute hence any complain with consumer forum is going to bounce back.

1 Like

Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     14 September 2009

Sumiteshwar Ji, i agree with u, but can u pls provide with the citation or the case no. of Civil Appeal decided by SC.


i intend to read that judgment.

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J V Krishna (Central Govt Service)     14 September 2009

Dear Kiranji, SC Bench headed by Justice Markendeya Katju said" when there is a spl remedy provided in sec. 7-B of Telegraph Ac reg. disputes in r/o tel. bills, then the remedy under CPA is by implication barred...." Also said that the Telegraph Act being spl Act, overrides other laws such as CPA.. (As per a news item published in Business Standard 7 Sep-Business Law page).   Regards.. J V Krishna, (CS Final Dec'09) Central Govt service, Hyderabad.

1 Like

DD Sathe (Contract Management)     14 September 2009

Arbiterator refered should be TRAI. However TRAI site says that they have no right of arbitration and consumer courts have jurisdiction!!


Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     14 September 2009

Mr. Sathe

pls wait for some time, we ll c the website of TRAI as well as the judgment of SC...and the best advice will be conveyed to u.

1 Like


Please refer TRAI Act 1997

published in The Gazatte of India,EXTRAORDINARY, Part ll-Section 1
Setllement of Disputes

14. (1) If a dispute arises, in respect of matters referred to in sub-section (2), among service providers or between service providers and a group of consumers, such disputes shall be adjudicated by a bench constituted by the Chairperson and such bench shall consist of two members;
Provided that if the members of the bench differ on any point or points they shall state the point or points on which they differ and refer the same to a third member for hearing on such point or points and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of that member.

(2) The bench constituted under sub-section (1) shall exercise, on and from the appointed day all such jurisdiction , powers and authority as were exerciseable immediately before that date by any civil court on any matter relating to-

technical compatibility and inter-connections between service providers;
revenue sharing arrangements between different service providers;
quality of telecommunication services and interest of consumers;
Provided that nothing in sub-section shall apply in respect of matters relating to-

the monopolistic trade practice, restrictive trade practice and unfair trade practice which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission established under sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969;
the complaint of an individual consumer maintainable before a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum or a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission or the National Consumer Redressal Commission established under section 9 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986;
dispute between telegraph authority and any other person referred to in sub-section (1) of section 7B of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

1 Like

V. VASUDEVAN (LEGAL COUNSEL)     14 September 2009

 Dear all,

Please the Supreme Court's Judgement attached


Attached File : 16 consumer telecom vs krishnan.doc downloaded: 268 times
4 Like

Sumiteshwar Choudhary (lawyer)     15 September 2009

 Thanks for attaching judgement the details that i collected are:

(Case No: Civil Appeal No. 7687 of 2004

General Manager, Telecom Appellant versus M. Krishnan and another Respondent

Date of Decision(mm/dd/yy): 9/1/2009.

Judge(s): Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

1 Like

DD Sathe (Contract Management)     15 September 2009

From the interesting debate it is clear that there is no clarity!

If complaint is covered under Teleggraphic act, which is Arbitration authority? What is their adress and Office set up ---in the reach of consumers (from Mumbai & Delhi for MTNL and entire country for BSNL)?

jaibapu (advocate)     13 October 2009

after perusal of SC  judgement it seems arbitrator clause is covered only for state run telephone corporation as only they come under the defination of  arbitrator


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