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Supreme Court stays telecom tribunal order on SMSes cap

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 03, 2012
First Published: 21:05 IST(3/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:39 IST(3/12/2012)

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the telecom tribunal's order quashing the telecom regulator's circular limiting the number of daily messages from a mobile phone to 200 per SIM.

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During a brief hearing, a bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi stayed the TDAT's order and issued notice to Aditya Thackeray on whose plea the tribunal had passed the order.

Thackeray, grandson of late Bal Thackeray, had challenged the restriction on daily SMSes on the ground it was "just a non-application of mind."

The SC order came on TRAI's appeal challenging the tribunal's order. The bench gave six weeks' time to Thackeray to file his response.

With the stay in place, the telecom regulator can enforce its circular limiting the number of daily SMSes until the SC vacates its order.

TDSAT had on July 17 termed the ceiling on SMSes as "arbitrary" and against the right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution and had set aside the sector regulator TRAI's circular.

Stating the restriction was a non-application of mind, Thackeray claimed in his plea before TDSAT that the regulatory authority had not explained why and how the figure of 100 or 200 SMSes had been arrived at.

He had further contended TRAI had not adopted any consultation process before incorporating the clause in its Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (8th Amendment) Regulation, 2011.

TRAI had permitted sending only 100 SMSes per day per SIM except on blackout days or days specially notified by it. However, on November 1, 2011, it had increased the limit to 200 SMSes per day, per SIM.


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