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HC to TRAI: Start action against those not complying with regulations on unsolicited communications

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked telecom regulator TRAI to start taking action in accordance with law against those persons not complying with its regulations to curb the problem of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) what was it waiting for till now and why it has not taken action against anyone.

"Start taking action in at least five cases. Don''t show too much friendship. Show that you are interested in execution of the law. "Ensure that there is more registration (of headers, unregistered telemarketers and principal entities) as per the regulations and if someone is too much adamant, start taking action," the bench said.

It gave TRAI six weeks time to show that it was making progress with regard to registration of the headers, unregistered telemarketers and principal entities, like Paytm, Swiggy and SBI, and listed the matter for hearing on August 28. The observations and direction by the bench came while hearing a plea by One97 Communications Ltd, which runs online payment platform Paytm, alleging that telecom operators are not blocking "phishing" activities over various mobile networks.

Phishing is a cyber crime where people are contacted by e-mail, phone calls or text messages by someone posing as a legitimate representative of a organisation to lure them to part with their sensitive data, including banking and credit card details and passwords

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Paytm, said he was only seeking strict implementation by TRAI and the telecom companies of the regulator''s Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR) 2018.

Dave contended that unregistered players are operating on a large scale leading to frauds to the tune of Rs 1-2 crore being committed against Paytm customers every month.

He said that all unregistered headers should be removed forthwith and not be allowed to operate on the mobile networks and if telecom companies do not take such steps, then penal action be taken against them.

He said that while TRAI has been trying to take everyone on board, its efforts are not sufficient and the time for seeking cooperation from others is

over.

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