1. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885,
the 13 of 1885 functions of the Authority shall be to
recommend the need and timing for introduction of new service provide;
recommend the terms and conditions of licence to a service provider;
ensure technical compatibility and effective inter-connection between different
Regulate arrangement amongst service providers of sharing their revenue derived
from providing telecommunication services.
Ensure compliance of terms and conditions of licence;
Recommend revocation of licence for non-compliance of terms and conditions
Lay down and ensure the time period for providing local and long distance
circuits of telecommunication between different service providers;
Facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of
telecommunication services so as to facilitate growth in such services;
Protect the interest of the consumers of telecommunication service;
Monitor the quality of service and conduct the periodical survey of such
service provided by the service providers;
Inspect the equipment used in the network and recommend the type of equipment
to be used by the service providers;
Maintain register of interconnect agreements and of all such other matters
as may be provided in the regulations;
Keep register maintain under clause (1) open for inspection to any member
of public on payment of such fee and compliance of such other requirements
as many be provided in the regulations;
Settle disputes between service providers;
Render advice to the Central Government in the matters relation to the
development of telecommunication technology and any other matter relatable
to telecommunication industry in general;
Levy fees and other charges at such rates and in respect of such services
as may be determined by regulations;
Ensure effective compliance of universal service obligations;
Perform such other functions including such administrative and financial
functions as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government or as may be
necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act.
Not withstanding anything contained in the India Telegraph Act, 1885, the
Authority may, from time to time, by order, notify in the Official Gazette
the rates at which the telecommunication services within India and outside
India shall be provided under this Act including the rates at which messages
shall be transmitted to any country outside India:
Provided that the Authority may notify different rates for different persons
or class of persons for similar telecommunication services and where different
rates are fixed as aforesaid the Authority shall record the reasons therefor.
While discharging its functions under sub-section (1), the Authority shall
not act against the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the
security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order,
decency or morality.
The Authority shall ensure transparency while exercising its powers and
discharging its functions.
2. (1) Where the Authority considers it expedient so to do, it may, by order
in writing, -
Call upon any service provider at any time to furnish in writing such information
or explanation relating to its affairs as the Authority may require; or
Appoint one or more persons to make an inquiry in relation to the affairs
of any service provider; and
Direct any of its officers or employees to inspect the books of account or
other documents of any service provider.
Where any inquiry in relation to the affairs of a service provider has been
undertaken under sub-section (1), -
Every officer of the Government Department, if such service provider is a
department of the Government;
Every director, manager, secretary or other officer, if such service provider
is a company; or
Every partner, manager, secretary or other officer, if such service provider
is a firm: or
Every other person or body of persons who has had dealings in the course
of business with any of the persons mentioned in clauses (b) and (c),
shall be bound to produce before the Authority making the inquiry, all such
books of account or other documents in his custody or power relating to,
or having a bearing on the subject-matter of such inquiry and also to furnish
to the Authority with any such statement or information relating thereto,
as the case may be, required of him, within such time as may be specified.
Every service provider shall maintain such books of account or other documents
as may be prescribed.
The Authority shall have the power to issue such directions to service provider
as it may consider necessary for proper functioning by service provides.
3. The Authority may, for the discharge of its functions under sub-section
(1) of section 11, issue such directions from time to time to the service
providers, as it may consider necessary.
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
4. (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 exercisable
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 this sub-section shall apply in respect of matters
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.
5. (1) An aggrieved person may make an application in respect of matters
referred to in sub-section (2) of section 14 within such period as may be
Explanation. - For the purpose of this sub-section, the expression "aggrieved
any service provider who has a dispute in respect of matters referred to
in clauses (i) and (ii) of sub-section (2) of section 14;
where any loss or damage is caused to a group of consumers, any member
representing such group of consumers.
On receipt of an application made under sub-section (1), the Authority may,
after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders
as it thinks fit preferably within a period of six months from the date of
filing of such application and shall record reasons in writing if final order
cannot be passed within the said period.
While arriving at a decision, the Authority shall record in writing the reasons
for such decision.
Every decision of the Authority shall be published in the annual report of
The orders and directions of the Authority shall be binding on the service
providers, Government and all other persons concerned.
6. (1) The Authority shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.
(2) The Authority shall have, for the purpose of discharging their functions
under this Chapter, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under
the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in respect of the following matters, namely:-
summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on
requiring the discovery and production of documents;
receiving evidence on affidavits;
issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
reviewing its decisions;
dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex parte;
setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any
order passed by it ex parte;
any other matter which may be prescribed.
Every proceeding before the Authority shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding
within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purpose of section
196 of the Indian Penal Code and Authority shall be deemed to be a civil
court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The applicant may either appear in person or authorise one or more legal
practitioners or any of its officers to present his or its case before the
Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Authority may file an
appeal to the High Court with in thirty day from the date of communication
of the decision or order of the Authority to him:
Provided that the High Court may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was
prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within the said period,
allow it to be filed within a further period not exceeding sixty days.
Every order made by the Authority under this Act or the order made by the
High Court in any appeal against any order of the Authority shall, on a
certificate issued by any officer of the Authority or the Registrar of the
High Court, as the case may be, be deemed to be decree of the civil court
and shall be executable in the same manner as a decree of that court.
If any person wilfully fails to comply with the orders of the Authority or
any order of the high Court, as the case may be, he shall be punishable with
fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in case of a second or subsequent
offence with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees and in the case of
continuing contravention with additional fine which may extend to two lakh
rupees for every day during which the default continues.;
(1) The Central Government may, from to time to time, issue to the Authority
such directions as it may think necessary in the interest of the sovereignty
and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with
foreign States, public order, decency or morality.
Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions, the Authority shall, in exercise
of its functions, be bound by such directions on questions of policy as the
central Government may give in writing to it from time to time:
Provided that the Authority shall, as far as practicable, be given an opportunity
to express its views before any direction is given under this sub-section
The decision of the Central Government whether a question is one of policy
or not shall be final.
All members, officers and other employees of the Authority shall be deemed,
when acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any of the provisions of
this Act to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian
No civil court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any matter which the
Authority is empowered by or under this Act to determine.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Central
Government or the Authority or any officer of the Central Government or any
member, officer or other employees of the Authority for anything which is
in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or
regulations made thereunder.
If a person violates directions of the Authority, such person shall be punishable
with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in case of second or subsequent
offence with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees and in the case of
continuing contravention with additional fine which may extend to two lakh
rupees for every day during which the default continues.
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every
person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was
responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company
, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and
shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such
person liable to any punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the
offence was committed without his knowledge or that he has exercised all
due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under
this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence
has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or it is proved that
the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is
attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary
or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other
officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable
to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation For the purpose of this section, -
"company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association
of individuals; and
"director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
17. (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by any Department
of Government, the Head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of
the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly
unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or
that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence
under this Act has been committed by a Department of Government and it is
proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance
of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any officer, other
than the Head of the Department, such officer shall also be deemed to be
guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Wealth-tax Act, 1957, the Income-tax
Act, 1961, or any other enactment for the time being in force relating to
tax on wealth, income, profits or gains, the Authority shall not be liable
to pay wealth-tax, income-tax or any other tax in respect of their wealth,
income, profits or gains derived.
The Authority may, by general or special order in writing, delegate to any
member, officer of the Authority or any other person subject to such conditions,
if any, as may be specified in the order, such of its powers and functions
under this Act (except the power to settle dispute under Chapter IV and to
make regulation under section 36) as it may deem necessary.
(1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act
or the rules or regulations made thereunder, save on a complaint made by
(2) No court inferior to that of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or a Chief
Judicial Magistrate of first class shall try any offence punishable under
21. (1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying
out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing
power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
the salary and allowances payable to and the other conditions of service
of the Chairperson and members under sub-section (5) of section 5;
the powers and functions of the Chairperson under sub-section (1) of section
the procedure for conducting an inquiry made under sub-section (2) of section
the category of books of account or other documents which are required to
be maintained under sub-section (3) of section 12;
the period within which an application is to be made under sub-section (1)
of section 15;
the manner in which the accounts of the Authority shall be maintained under
sub-section (1) of section 23;
the time within which and the form and manner in which returns and report
are to be made to the Central Government under sub-sections (1) and (2) of
any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed, or in respect of
which provision is to be made, by rules.
22. (1) The Authority may, by notification, make regulations consistent with
this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the purposes of this
In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power,
such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
the times and places of meetings of the Authority and the procedure to be
followed at such meetings under sub-section (1) of section 8, including quorum
necessary for the transaction of business;
the transaction of business at the meetings of the Authority under sub-section
(4) of section 8;
the salaries and allowances payable to and the other conditions of service
of officers and other employees of the Authority under sub-section (2) of
matters in respect of which register is to be maintained by the Authority
under clause (1) of sub-section (1) of section 11;
levy of fee and lay down such other requirements on fulfillment of which
a copy of register may be obtained under clause (m) of sub-section (1) of
levy of fees and other charges under clause (p) of sub-section (1) of section
Every rule and every regulation made under this Act shall be laid, as soon
as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is
in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one
session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry
of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions
aforesaid, both Houses agree in mange any modification in the rule or regulation
or both Houses agree that the rule or regulation should not be made, the
rule or regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form
or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification
or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously
done under that rule or regulation.
The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to the provisions of the
India telegraph Act, 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and,
in particular, nothing in this Act shall affect any jurisdiction, powers
and functions required to be exercised or performed by the Telegraph Authority
in relation to any area falling within the jurisdiction of such Authority.
(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act,
the Central Government may, by order, published in the Official Gazette,
make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as
may appear to be necessary for removing the difficulty;
Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry
of two years from the date of commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be
after it is made, before each House of Parliament.
26. (1) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Ordinance 1997 is hereby
(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under
the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the
corresponding provisions of this Act.