Delhi HC Hears Plea for Free Telecom & Internet Services Amid Lockdown

Advocate Amit Sahani sought directions to the telephone operators and internet services providers; not to charge any amount from businesses or households that remained closed amid lockdown. The advocate filed the petition before the Delhi High Court seeking such directions. The petition states that any amount collected for the ‘unused lockdown period‘, should be transferred to PM CARES fund.

The Petitioner emphasizes the effects of the lockdown on the business community. He contends that no one should be asked to pay for internet services which they were compelled not to utilize due to the guidelines issued by the government. Previously, the petitioner made a representation, to the telecommunication companies and ISPs to waive bills of business houses, etc. Similarly, a representation made before the Ministry of Finance, requesting not to levy GST on internet bills during the lockdown. Sahai states that the government cannot charge service tax for services which people could not avail due to the lockdown.

To list, the petitioner has also made Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the Ministry of Finance, and the GST Council, parties to the petition. The petition highlights the difficult situation of people for whom using these services has become impossible due to the lockdown. The Petitioner cites the examples of waiver of school fees and waiver of electricity bills. Consequently, Sahani expects the same relief of waiving the charges on internet services.