Another ridiculous judgment by the Supreme Court.

In Reliance Infocomm Ltd v. BSNL, (2008) 10 SCC 535, the Court was called upon to decide whether “Unlimited Cordless” service is covered under the definition of WLL(M) service as defined in Regulation 2(xxviii) of the Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges Regulation, 2003 which defines WLL(M) as limited mobility service using WLL technology within a Short Distance Charging Area (“SDCA”). I know it may be a little complicated to understand but please do bear with me.

What is interesting to note in this judgment is that in attempting to refer to qualified definitions of the terms used, the Court cited Wikipedia and other internet sources as authorities which till today was totally unheard of.

According to Wikipedia, Fixed Wireless Terminal (“FWT”) units differ from conventional mobile terminal units operating within cellular networks – such as GSM – as FWT or desk phone is limited to a permanent location. Therefore, all the above literature and reference books indicate that FWA is a service which is limited to permanent location. The significance of FWA is that it dispenses with the last mile wireline connectivity and to that extent it is cost effective. The wireless access point is a device that connects wireless communication devices together to form a wireless network. Wireless Access Point (“WAP”) usually connects to a wired network.(see: Wikipedia)

33. According to Whatis.com’s ‘Encyclopedia of Technology Terms’ the term ‘fixed wireless’ refers to the operation of wireless devices or systems in fixed locations such as home and offices. They derive their electrical power from the utility mains, unlike mobile wireless or portable wireless which are battery-powered. Although mobile and portable system can be used in fixed locations, their efficiency is compromised when compared with fixed systems. One of the important assets of fixed wireless that subscribers in remote areas can be brought into a network without the need for new cables or optical fibres across the country side.

This exposes a great fallacy in the working of the Court. The Court must place reliance only on those documents that are authoritative and conclusive in nature and not information that is susceptible to change. It should be known that sites like Wikipedia can be changed time and again by any user. After reading this judgment, I am seriously considering becoming an active contributor to Wikipedia. Who knows, I am be cited sometime.

As a confession, I am a big fan of Wikipedia, but think that the Court expressing itself in this manner is ridiculous.