Supreme Court Denies the Plea for Free Calls, Data and DTH Facilities

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A plea was made to the Supreme Court earlier this month which requested telecom service providers to give free calls and data to the customers. The appeal was sought after to help reduce the psychological stress a person is going through because of lockdown. The petition was filed by Advocate Manohar Pratap which requested Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to ask the DTH service providers for giving free services until the time lockdown is in place. The lockdown was extended till May 3, and there is no clear indication from the government of India about whether it will be extended even further or not.

Supreme Court Rules Out the Plea 

The Supreme Court was not too happy with the petition and the bench of Justices, N V Ramana, B R Gavai, and S K Kaul even commented, - ‘What kind of petitions are being filed?’ Advocate Manohar Pratap has said that he will withdraw his plea. In his appeal, he also looked for the Health Ministry to take necessary steps and help people in dealing with psychological stress because of the lockdown. Had the plea been successful, even the web content from some of the major subscription-based video streaming platforms would have to provide free content in India.

Connectivity Can Reduce The Mental Pressure

Many people are stranded due to lockdown away from their families. Some of the people living in rural areas don’t even know how to recharge their SIM cards online to be able to make calls. When people can’t step outside and don’t know how to recharge online, it becomes an issue. There is a lot of psychological stress that entails when a person is stranded and can’t connect to his family or the outer world to stay updated on the current scenario. DTH services were asked to be made free as well. This is because music and movies can help people in reducing a lot of stress, and also news channels can keep them updated.

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