Delhi HC rejects plea against Truecaller over privacy concerns, says it’s a facility
The petition, among other points, faulted Truecaller for classifying certain calls as spam, saying it hurt the reputation of the phone subscribers
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday dismissed a petition that sought a ban on Truecaller, a crowd-sourced caller identification mobile application, on the ground that it violated the privacy of mobile phone users by disclosing their identity and other details without their consent.
Lawyer Ajay Shukla, who filed the petition, also contended that the application also hurt reputations by classifying certain phone numbers as ‘spam’.
A bench of acting chief justice Manmohan and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora disagreed, recalling the years when the telephone directories listing the name and address of all phone subscribers were published. “Previously phone directories used to be published. This is a facility,” a bench told lawyer Ankit Sethi who appeared for the petitioner.
Ankit Sethi told the court that the Truecaller application gained access to the contacts of its users which contained their addresses, emails, and other details without their consent.
The Union government trashed the petition, saying it was only designed to seek publicity and told the high court that the Supreme Court in August 2022 has already rejected the petitioner’s plea that sought similar relief.
“This petition amounts to re-litigation… This will amount to an abuse of process. Nothing about the Supreme Court proceedings has been disclosed in this writ petition,” the court said.
In August 2022, the top court declined to entertain a similar plea against Trucaller, asking if it was the court’s job to go about banning mobile applications.
To be sure, a petition against Truecaller was filed in the Bombay high court in April 2021 and is still pending. In this case, the high court sought the Maharashtra government and the central government’s response to the petition in July 2021.