A Writ Petition has been filed in Delhi HC seeking directions to the telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to not charge any amount from offices, shops, business establishments, and the household which was “compulsorily closed” due to COVID-19 lockdown.
The PIL filed by Advocate Amit Sahni, demands to transfer any amount, already collected to PM CARES Fund, relief fund created by PM Narendra Modi to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The petition highlighted that he earlier raised this issue before ISPs and telecommunication companies. He also made a representation before the Ministry of Finance, to not levy GST on Internet bills during the lockdown.
The petitioner raised the concern regarding the impact of lockdown on the business community and argued that one should not be asked to pay for Internet services, which they were forced not to utilize due to guidelines issued by the government. Petitioner cited the examples of waiver of school fees and electricity bills and urged that same relief can also be provided to Internet bills.
The Petitioner has also made Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Ministry of Finance, and the GST Council, in addition to ISPs as parties to the present petition.