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Enforce rules to check SMS fraud or face legal action, Delhi HC tells TRAI

Delhi High Court's order has been welcomed by the digital payments industry, as insufficient supervision had let the scamsters send fake messages under duplicate headers

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 4, 2021 | Updated 18:03 IST
Enforce rules to check SMS fraud or face legal action, Delhi HC tells TRAI
SMS headers are unique IDs via which commercial text messages are sent to mobile users

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on Wednesday, February 4, was directed by Delhi High Court to ensure that telecom companies strictly enforce rules to check the use of fake SMS headers by fraudsters to cheat customers

The order has been welcomed by the digital payments industry, as insufficient supervision had let the scamsters send fake messages under duplicate headers.

SMS headers are unique IDs via which commercial messages are sent to mobile users. Directing TRAI, a two-member bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said loose implementation of the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 (TCCCPR) could result in legal action, The Economic Times reported.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel share hits all-time high post Q3 earnings

The bench said it in response to a writ appeal filed by Paytm. Under TCCCPR, all companies that send promotional and business SMSes need to register their content and headers on a blockchain-based platform managed by telcos.

This is geared towards curbing spam, comprising sham messages delivered without user approval or registration.

The High Court, however, did not instruct the respondents, including telecom operators, to cough up damages amounting to Rs 100 crore originally sought by Paytm for reputational loss in the wake of payment frauds owing to lack of compliance with the TCCCPR rules.

A Paytm spokesperson called the Delhi HC's order a "big victory." The digital payments major had filed a case against TRAI and telcos comprising Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio.

"The purpose of the petition was to protect the digital payments ecosystem and customers and we don't feel the need to press for any further compensation. In case we see any delays in the implementation, we will come back and fight again in the court," the spokesperson told the publication.

Also Read: Delhi HC orders TRAI to strictly implement regulations to curb unsolicited commercial calls

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